Today I just found out I won a research grant given out by my school’s library! This grant allows you to do research at other libraries or archives. I am going to use this grant to travel down to the Mississippi State Archives in Jackson. I was made aware by another blogger that Hilda Flowers’, Rachel’s younger sister, papers are located there. There is also some papers regarding Hilda’s daughter Geraldine Wilson. Here is a description:
The collection documents the life and career of Hilda Wilson and includes personal and financial records, Head Start records, and a range of items relating to the civil rights and black power movements in Jackson, Mississippi, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The collection is divided into six series: Head Start records; Philadelphia Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee records; Poor People’s Corporation records; diaries and calendars; printed material; and personal papers. Key topics covered by the collection include: Head Start programs; Friends of Children of Mississippi; the Child Development Group of Mississippi; the study and teaching of African-American history; early childhood education; and the Poor People’s Corporation. The Head Start series includes funding proposals from the Child Development Group of Mississippi and records of Friends of Children of Mississippi, including correspondence, reports, orientation and training guides, and classroom materials. This series provides key documentation of FCM’s development following its first OEO grant and of its emphasis on introducing black awareness into the pre-school curriculum. It also contains materials from a range of organizations that supported Head Start programs. The Philadelphia Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee series consists of one folder with three incoming letters written while Hilda Wilson was secretary, as well as printed material about SNCC and the Mississippi Project. The Poor People’s Corporation series consists of one folder of news releases and printed material, as well as four incoming letters and Hilda Wilson’s notes on sewing cooperatives.”
There is seven boxes of information to go through and I am really excited to read what is inside and to find out who donated the information (maybe a relative). Even though I live in the South I have only been to Georgia and South Carolina, so this will be a new adventure for me. I hope to go in the Summer of 2013 and to also take my little sister along as a research assistant. She thought of the idea and at first I thought it was cute until she told me that she would like to be paid $10 an hour…I tell you about that child, I don’t know what to do with her. I would also like to see the information there about Charles Evers, he was the brother of Medger Evers, a civil rights activist he was assassinated in front of his home after he returned home to work, I was always interested in his life after my mom allowed me to watch the movie about his murder case, Ghost of Mississippi, starring Whoopi Goldberg (she plays his wife). I actually got to visit the gravesite of Mr. Medger Evers last weekend on my trip to DC (I will post about this tomorrow). He is buried at Arlington Cemetery in Virginia.
The archives also provides a short biography about Hilda:
Hilda Clifford Flowers was born on April 8, 1910, in Pennsylvania. She attended Overbrook High School in Philadelphia, where she completed the tenth grade. She married Herbert Wilson, and the couple remained in Philadelphia. Herbert Wilson worked for the United States Postal Service, and Hilda Wilson worked for the Marine Corps Supply Activity (Department of the Navy) as a sewing machine operator until 1959. In 1958, she took evening courses in bookkeeping and accounting in Philadelphia. In the summer of 1971, she earned her general education diploma and attended classes at Tougaloo College. Hilda and Herbert Wilson had at least two children, Herbert Wilson, Jr., and Geraldine L. Wilson. Herbert Wilson died around 1962.
In Philadelphia, Wilson was an active member of St. Augustine’s Church of the Covenant. She was finance chair of the Women’s Auxiliary and superintendent of the primary department of the church school from 1955 until 1961. She was also active in the West Philadelphia Civic League and the Mothers Club of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
In 1963, she became administrative secretary for the Philadelphia chapter of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). In this position, she supervised the office, coordinated volunteers and fundraising, and spoke to groups at colleges and churches. She then worked as secretary for the Philadelphia Tutorial Project.
In 1964, Wilson’s daughter, Geraldine, worked with SNCC in the Mississippi Delta and in Albany, Georgia, to establish educational programs for young children. She was also a co-founder of the Mississippi Institute for Early Childhood Education. Geraldine left Mississippi in 1966 and moved to New York. In 1973, she became director of the Regional Training Office for Head Start Programs at New York University.
Following her daughter’s work in the Delta, Hilda Wilson went to Mississippi in 1966, where she worked as a trainer for the Poor People’s Corporation (PPC), teaching sewing and bookkeeping. By 1967, she had settled permanently in Jackson. Wilson next worked for the Friends of Children of Mississippi (FCM). She began as a field consultant and by 1970 was the administrative assistant to the pre-school education associate director. In 1971, she took over the position of pre-school education associate director, coordinating the training of preschool teachers and developing curricula. From 1972 to 1974, she served as parent involvement coordinator, working with center committees and policy committees on which parents served as advisors. She was also on the advisory board of the Mississippi Institute for Early Childhood Education. Wilson resigned from FCM in 1973.
Wilson briefly owned and operated Clifford’s House of Gifts, a small business in Jackson. She was also a member of the Jackson chapter of the Business and Professional Women’s Clubs and a board member of Operation Shoestring. She died in November 1975 in Hinds County, Mississippi.
I only found two issues with the biography pertaining to her birthplace and her children. She actually had three children and was born in Florida. I wonder will they take my word for it and change it, who knows?
Well, time to finish my paper on my historical intellectual spiritual autobiography and readings on Jean Rousseau.
Until the next post on Washington DC adventures.