Creator: Herzenberg, Joseph A., 1941-
Collection number: 5367
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Abstract: Joe Herzenberg (Joseph Alexander Herzenberg II) was born in 1941 in Franklin, N.J. He moved to Chapel Hill, N.C., in 1969. Herzenberg was a politician; historian; advocate for social, environmental, and economic justice; and the first openly gay elected official in North Carolina. He died in October 2007 in Chapel Hill. The collection contains diaries, correspondence, subject files, photographs, and other materials relating to Joe Herzenberg. Diaries begin in 1954 during Herzenberg’s early adolescence and continue through 2006. Entries are detailed narratives of Herzenberg’s daily life during his teenage and college years. From the 1970s on, local and national politics play central roles in the diaries. Correspondence is chiefly incoming and concerns local and national politics and Herzenberg’s personal life. Included are letters from Democratic Party politicians running for office; replies from politicians detailing stances on particular issues; letters from local and national non-profits; and letters concerning local politics, such as Chapel Hill Town Council meetings and the Chapel Hill City Greenway. There are also letters, postcards, and greeting cards from friends, family, and students. Subject file topics include politics, family, gay rights, home, hobbies, and social issues in Chapel Hill. Photographs are of Herzenberg’s parents; Herzenberg at various stages in his life; school, social, and political events; friends, associates, and other individuals; and Herzenberg’s cat and home. Also included are awards received by Herzenberg, his political pin collection, college class notes, and other items.
Repository: Southern Historical Collection
Collection Highlights: The collection includes descriptions of his work at Tougaloo college, life long civil rights activism, and his brief interracial marriage. See particularly Series 2 (Correspondence) and Series 3 (Subject Files).