Paul Green papers, 1880-1985.

Creator: Green, Paul, 1894-1981.
Collection number: 3693
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Abstract: Paul Eliot Green (1894-1981), of Chapel Hill, N.C., was an author, Pulitzer prize-winning playwright, and humanitarian. This collection contains material documenting the many facets of Green’s life and work, material relating to the

Photograph of Richard Wright as Bigger Thomas from the original film version of Paul Green's "Native Son" (1951), from Paul Green Papers, SHC #3693.
Photograph of Richard Wright as Bigger Thomas from the original film version of Paul Green's "Native Son" (1951), from Paul Green Papers, SHC #3693.

life and work of his wife, Elizabeth Lay Green, and numerous items relating to members of the Greens’ immediate and extended families. Paul Green’s work as a dramatist and writer is documented in his professional correspondence files (ca. 34,400 items); by extensive files on his “symphonic dramas,” including background material, drafts, musical scores, and business records; and by drafts of poems, novels, and essays by Green. Also included are yearly diaries, 1917-1981, photographs, tape recordings, and appointment books. Correspondents include Sherwood Anderson, James Boyd, Erskine Caldwell, William T. Couch, Jonathan Daniels, Donald Davidson, John Ehle, Caroline Gordon, Frank Porter Graham, John Howard Griffin, Tyrone Guthrie, Dubose Heyward, Noel Houston, Langston Hughes, Gerald W. Johnson, James Weldon Johnson, Frederick Koch, Lotte Lenya, H. L. Mencken, Howard Odum, Clarence Poe, Carl Sandburg, Betty Smith, Lamar Stringfield, Allen Tate, Kurt Weill, Orson Welles, and Richard Wright. Green’s associations with various theater, cultural, and humanitarian organizations in North Carolina and elsewhere are extensively documented. Correspondence and other materials show his opinions on such social issues as lynching, capital punishment, nationalism, communism, race relations, religion, and the Vietnamese, Korean, and First and Second World Wars. Also included are a considerable number of photographs relating to Green’s family and to his work, and financial records.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: The collection contains information on race relations, African Americans in the theater and in literature; African-American employment; lynching; the NAACP; the North Carolina Committee on Negro Affairs, and other organizations. Some noted series include Series 8 (Source Material), Sub Series 1.2 (General Files: for information on the Negro Little Theater) Sub Series 1.3 (General Files 1940-1949: for Green’s interest in Civil Rights and the NC Commission on Interracial Cooperation) and Subseries 2.1.18 (Major Dramatic Works: In Abraham’s Bosom, 1926-1960)

Some of the items in this collection have been digitized. Please click here to view the finding aid for this collection and to link to the digitized items.