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Dorothy Pitman Hughes papers

 Collection
Identifier: SSC-MS-00733

Scope and Contents

The Dorothy Pitman Hughes collection documents the professional life of Hughes, including fliers, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, proposals, plaques, certificates, and photographs. The collection primarily documents Hughes’ life after Ms., though there is some material on her early career. Of special interest, though in very fragile condition, is a significant run of The Black Panther, the party's official newspaper. This collection also includes two oversize copies of Dan Bagan's 2014 black and white photograph of Dorothy Pitman Hughes and Gloria Steinem, fists raised, that Pitman Hughes commissioned to mark Steinem's 80th birthday. The photo is a reenactment of the now iconic original image by photographer Dan Wynn.

Dates

  • 1964 - 2016

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Access

Until we move into New Neilson in early 2021, collections are stored in multiple locations and may take up to 48 hours to retrieve. Researchers are strongly encouraged to contact Special Collections (specialcollections@smith.edu) at least a week in advance of any planned visits so that boxes may be retrieved for them in a timely manner.

Conditions Governing Use

Dorothy Pitman Hughes retains full ownership of any and all copyrights currently owned and/or controlled by her in the materials, but grants Special Collections a nonexclusive right to use or authorize all uses of these materials for noncommercial research, scholarly, or educational purposes pursuant to a Creative Commons Attribution, noncommercial license as permitted.

Biographical Note

Dorothy Pitman Hughes is a civil rights feminist activist, movement leader and author. Born in Lumpkin, Georgia in 1938, Pitman Hughes grew up in the segregated South, experiencing firsthand the violence of racism where, in 1948 her father was severely beaten by men her family believed to be members of the Ku Klux Klan. In 1957 she moved to New York City and during the 1960s worked as a salesperson, house cleaner, and nightclub singer while raising bail money for jailed civil rights activists. In the late 1960s, needing care for her own children (by 1970, she had three daughters) Pitman Hughes organized a multiracial cooperative day care center on the West Side which would be profiled by New York Magazine columnist, Gloria Steinem. The two women became friends and when Steinem began her public speaking career on behalf of feminism, she asked Pitman Hughes to join her. They went on to co-found Ms Magazine with other feminist writers and activists.

In the 1990s, Pitman Hughes became a vocal advocate of African American entrepreneurship, owning several small businesses herself, in both New York City and her more recent home of Jacksonville, Florida. She is the author of "Wake Up and Smell the Dollars! Whose Inner-City is This Any!: One Woman's Struggle Against Sexism, Classism, Racism" (2000); "I'm Just Saying It Looks Like Ethnic Cleansing: The Gentrification of Harlem" (2013); and writing with Ruther Youmans Tyson, "Life is About Choices, Not Excuses: The Life of Ruther Youmans Tyson" (2014).

Extent

5.251 linear feet (5 containers)

Language of Materials

English

Overview

Dorothy Pitman Hughes is a civil rights feminist activist, movement leader and author. In the collection there are: fliers, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, proposals, certificates, and photographs. Of special interest, though in very fragile condition, are several issues of The Black Panther,the party's official newspaper. This collection also includes one oversize copy of Dan Bagan's 2014 black and white photograph of Dorothy Pitman Hughes and Gloria Steinem, fists raised, that Pitman Hughes commissioned to mark Steinem's 80th birthday. The photo is a reenactment of the now iconic original image by photographer Dan Wynn.

Arrangement

The arrangement of the files remains the same as when they were received.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

The Black Panther newspapers are too fragile to be handled for research. To request digital copies of these, please contact special collections staff (specialcollections@smith.edu).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

These materials came to the Sophia Smith Collection from Dorothy Pitman Hughes.

Appraisal

In October 2019, the physical plaques of Pitman-Hughes' awards and a duplicate photograph of Pitman Hughes and Steinem were removed from the collection.

Related Materials

Additional material on Hughes caqn be found in the Gloria Steinem papers and the Ms. Magazine records.

Processing Information

This collection was processed in October 2019. Several items were removed from the collection, including an entire box of Pitman Hughes' awards, a duplicate photograph of Pitman Hughes and Gloria Steinem, and some generic posters. What was previously 8 containers were consolidated into 2 boxes, 1 oversized box, and 2 folders. These boxes were reordered, because multiple accessions to this collection had previously resulted in duplicate box names and numbers. The Black Panther Party newspapers remain in a box of their own, due to their fragile condition.
Title
Finding aid to Dorothy Pitman Hughes papers
Status
Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
Author
Ellice Amanna and Grace Hartley
Date
2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Revision Statements

  • 2017-07-26T17:48:24-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
  • 2019-06-24: Finding aid updated to current standards and published
  • 2019-10-25: Added content description.

Repository Details

Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository

Contact:
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton MA 01063