Dorothy Pitman Hughes papers
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 of Materials
- 1964 - 2016
- Hughes, Dorothy Pitman (1938) (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.
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.
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.
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).
5.251 linear feet (5 containers)
Language of Materials
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.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Immediate Source of Acquisition
These materials came to the Sophia Smith Collection from Dorothy Pitman Hughes.
In October 2019, the physical plaques of Pitman-Hughes' awards and a duplicate photograph of Pitman Hughes and Steinem were removed from the collection.
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.
- African American civil rights
- African American women
- Black Panthers
- Black Power Movement
- Black women
- Civil rights -- New York (State) -- New York
- Civil rights -- United States -- 20th century
- Early childhood education -- United States -- 20th century
- Hughes, Dorothy Pitman (1938)
- Steinem, Gloria
- Women's liberation
- Women's liberation
- Finding aid to Dorothy Pitman Hughes papers
- Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
- Ellice Amanna and Grace Hartley
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- 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.
Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063