Note on language in the guide
Please be aware that this guide and the materials it links to contain language that may be harmful or offensive. The University of Minnesota aims to describe archival materials in a manner that is respectful to the individuals and communities who create, use, and are represented in the collections we manage. However some of the descriptive language reflects and re-uses language that was used by the people and organizations that created the material. This language was retained in cases where we believe it provides important context about the materials or is the official title of an item, organization, or event.
Resources in the Kautz Family YMCA Archives on African Americans
The Kautz Family YMCA Archives photo collection includes photos of African American YMCA leaders and buildings, programs, and activities. Many photos related to this topic are available online. » See images from the YMCA Archives in the UMedia Archive (click on the "images" tab).
All or portions of many of the materials below have been digitized and are available online. Follow the links to the finding aids for access.
- Biographical Files This collection of biographical data includes primarily resumes, employment records, obituaries, and other background material, and occasionally small collections of personal papers of hundreds of YMCA leaders. A number of prominent African American YMCA leaders are represented, including Jesse Alexander, William Hunton, Leo Marsh, Jesse Moorland, Dunbar Reed, Channing Tobias, Max Yergan, and others. »See the finding aid for more information on these records
- Colored Work Department Records, 1871-1946 Reports, correspondence, publications, and other records of the National Council's Colored Work Department, established in 1890, and predecessor programs, created as avenues for African American participation in and service to the YMCA. »See the finding aid for more information on these records
- Interracial Programs Records, 1946-1980 Reports, correspondence, and other records documenting various committees, programs, and conferences intended to monitor and promote the process of integration and the elimination of racial inequality within the YMCA, as well as to identify and address the unmet needs of African American and other non-white people served by the organization. »See the finding aid for more information on these records
- Urban Work Records, 1929-1991 Correspondence, minutes, reports, program proposals, area and population studies, financial documents, pamphlets, maps, newspaper articles and other records of the North American YMCA’s urban work, focusing on topics including race relations in the city and in the YMCA itself, institutional racism and the social, and economic conditions of African Americans in the United States. »See the finding aid for more information on these records
- Harlem Branch (135th Street) Records, 1910-1989 These records include substantial material on the Black Achievers program, brought to the Harlem Branch by Leo Marsh in 1971. »See the finding aid for more information on these records
- Butler Street [Atlanta] YMCA Records, 1975-2012 Board of directors, committee, administrative, program, and other records, dating primarily from the early 1980s through the late 1990s. The collection also includes an extensive collection of video tapes, most of which document activities of the association's Hungry Club Forum. »See the finding aid for more information on these records
- Student Work Records, 1879-1975. Records of the national department responsible for coordinating work with students include records documenting the YMCAs established at historically Black colleges and universities. »See the finding aid for more information on these records
- Armed Services Records. United Service Organization-Related Records, 1932-1980. The series of records on city USOs includes histories of Black USOs around the country. »See the finding aid for more information on these records
- Jesse Alexander Papers, 1961-1998 Papers of Jesse N. Alexander, Jr., YMCA National board staff member and leader, documenting his career in the YMCA, which spanned the years from 1946 to 1981. The papers relate to his extensive work promoting racial equality within the movement, particularly his work with BAN-WYS (the National Conference of Black and Non-White YMCA Laymen and Staff). »See the finding aid for more information on these records
- Leo Marsh Papers, 1920-1979 Papers of Leo Bergman Marsh, YMCA National Board staff member and leader, documenting his career in the YMCA, which spanned the years from 1928 to 1976. The bulk of the papers concern his extensive work promoting improved race relations within the movement. »See the finding aid for more information on these records
- Channing Tobias Papers, 1911-1961 Papers of Channing Tobias, who served as senior secretary of the YMCA's Colored Work Department from 1924 to 1946, documenting his YMCA career, which dates back to 1913. »See the finding aid for more information on these records
- Max Yergan Papers Papers of Max Yergan, who pioneered YMCA work in South Africa during the 1920s and 1930s. »See the finding aid for more information on these records
For more information on the titles below, search the University of Minnesota Library's online catalog or contact the Kautz Family YMCA Archives.
- Arthur, George R. Life on the Negro Frontier: A Study of the Objectives and the Success of the Activities Promoted in the Young Men's Christian Associations Operating in "Rosenwald" Buildings
- Bullock, Ralph W. and Boyd W. Overton. Problems of Financing and Building Maintenance : A Study of Sources of Income, Problems of Financing, and Building Maintenance of Young Men's Christian Associations Serving Colored Men and Boys
- Harlow, Harold Chadbourne, Jr. Racial Integration in the Y.M.C.A.: A Study of "Mergers" of Certain Negro and White YMCAs with Special Reference to the Role of the Religious Factors
- Hunton, Addie W. Two Colored Women with the American Expeditionary Forces
- Mjagkij, Nina. Light in the Darkness, African Americans and the YMCA, 1852-1946
- National Council of the Young Men's Christian Associations of the United States of America. Bureau of Records, Studies and Trends. Negro Youth in City YMCAs: A Study of YMCA Services Among Negro Youth in Urban Communities.
- Ruffin, John Walter. A Study of Personnel Policies and Practices for Secretaries in Negro Associations in the Southern Area Council of YMCA's
For more information on the items below, contact the Kautz Family YMCA Archives.
- Audio Tape: Black-White Confrontation. Produced by National YMCA.
- Audio Tape: "Black YMCA Southeast Region."
- Video Tape: "1992 Black Achiever Awards Banquet." 28 min, 47 seconds. VHS.
- Video Tape: The YMCA's Black Heritage. General Assembly of YMCAs, Boston, 1988.
- Film: Extending the Spirit: Helping Children Walk Tall, The Story of the YMCA in Black Communities. 22 min. National Council of the YMCAs of the U.S.A. Produced by C.J. Dorkins Productions, New York, NY.
- Film: Negro and the American Promise. WGBH-TV. Released by NET Film Service, 1963. 2 film reels (60 min.) : sd. b&w. ; 16 mm.