African American clergy
Americans - Foreign countries
Church of the Covenant
Church of the Master (New York, N.Y.)
Harlem (New York, N.Y.)
Morningside Community Center (New York, N.Y.)
Operation Crossroads Africa
Peace Corps (U.S.) - History
Presbyterian Church - Clergy
United States - Foreign relations
United States. Dept. of State. Bureau of African Affairs
Vocational education - Africa
The papers document the public career of James Herman Robinson, an African American Presbyterian clergyman, who achieved world recognition for his work in New York’s Harlem and his accomplishments in founding Operation Crossroads Africa, which served as one of the models for the Peace Corps. The papers encompass 21.6 linear feet of correspondence, writings, reports, publications, lists, financial statements, minutes, schedules and agendas, press releases, newspaper clippings, photographs, honors and awards, programs, invitations, announcements, and miscellaneous collected items. The main strengths are the correspondence by participants in Operations Crossroads Africa and the Peace Corps, the records created by the colleagues working with Dr. Robinson, and his writings.
The papers span over almost forty years and highlight his work as a New York City Presbyterian minister, the Director of the Morningside Community Center, the founder of Operations Crossroads Africa, a former vice president of the Peace Corps, an advisor to the State Department, an author, a lecturer, a world traveler, and an adviser to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson on African and Youth Affairs. The papers are a valuable resource for the topics of African American clergy, Community Development, Operations Crossroads Africa, and the Peace Corps.
Correspondence is varied and includes letters to and from family members, educators, actors, congressmen, ambassadors, prime ministers, governors, presidents, archbishops and bishops, pastors, priests, missionaries, college students, and hometown friends. A major portion of the correspondence is with high officials of both the United States and African governments, as well as with representatives of the Presbyterian Church from throughout the world concerning the work of Operation Crossroads Africa. Main correspondents include Eugene Carson Blake, Chester H. Bowles, Kyoji Buma, Lincoln Maynard Catchings, William Sloane Coffin, William Orviklle Douglas, President Eisenhower, Harry Emerson Fosdick, President Johnson, President Kennedy, Jomo Kenyatta, Bill Myers, James Albert Pike, Robert Sargent Shriver, Jack Hood Vaughn, and G. Mennen Williams.
The papers include manuscript copies of his writings: published and unpublished articles, books, speeches, and sermons. There are also newspaper clippings and other published items about Robinson and his activities and projects. The publications collected in the Robinson papers are representative of his interests in education, Christianity, government, and Africa. The papers also includes annual reports of Operations Crossroads Africa, as well as a combination of annual, monthly, and oftentimes weekly reports of the Church of Master, Morningside Community Center, the Church of the Covenant, and the Peace Corps.
Series 1: Correspondence, 1935-1972
Series 2: Financial Records and Other Materials, 1953-1973
Series 3: Minutes and Lists, 1949-1972
Series 4: Schedules and Agendas, 1951-1970
Series 5: Writings, 1950-1971
Series 6: Collected Publications and Printed Items, 1954-1972
Series 7: Reports, 1951-1972
Series 8: News Clippings and Oversize Materials, 1935-1973