Early interracial conferences, Part II

Southern Conference for Human Welfare
"Findings of the Negro-White Conference Held at Shaw University," #4107 Olive M. Stone papers, folder 6

Negro-White Conference, Shaw University, Raleigh, N.C.
30 November – 2 December, 1934
Pictured here are the findings of another month-long interracial conference attended by Olive M. Stone, which historian Glenda Gilmore has called “the first southern interracial conference that dared endorse integration” (Defying Dixie, p. 221). The conference also challenged the approaches taken by several of the major civil rights organizations of the time, as is shown in the following excerpt:

“The conference agrees that the criteria of interracial work should be 1) to work for complete social, political, and economic equality of the races, and 2) to work for the organization of the masses of both races for goals that have to do with their common status.
Existing organizations such as the NAACP, the National Urban League, and the Commission on Interracial Cooperation etc., have been examined in the light of these criteria, and it was felt that they should change their character and structure to conform to them, if they are to work effectively for the solutions of the problems involved.”

Finding Aid for the Olive M. Stone Papers (#4107)

Related posts: Early interracial conferences, Part I

3 thoughts on “Early interracial conferences, Part II”

  1. Re: Olive M. Stone & Negro-White Conference, Shaw University, Raleigh, N.C.

    Thank you for this new site which I stumbled upon. The 1934 conference was not the first southern conference as Glenda Gilmore claims that “dared endorse integration” (Defying Dixie, p. 221). I don’t know if Washington D. C. was/is considered a part of the “south” during the early part of the 20th century: but in 1921 Louis Gregory, Agnes Parsons, Alain Locke, and others held a “Race Amity” convention in Washington D. C. at the First Congressional Church. Locke chaired one of the sessions. Two thousand people attended and there is a photo showing black and white attendees all sitting together during the conference. This convention predates the one that Stone attended by by thirteen years. Please feel free to forward this to Ms. Gilmore or Ms. Sedgwick or the SHC Collections.
    See: Morrison, Gayle. To Move the World: Louis G. Gregory and the Advancement of Racial Unity in America (1982). Thank you.

  2. Angelita,
    Thanks for commenting and bringing our attention to this early interracial conference in D.C.! It sounds very interesting. I think that by saying, “dared endorse integration,” Gilmore is referring to the goals or results of the conference, beyond the fact that the conference itself was integrated.

    In her book she goes on to say, partially quoting Olive M. Stone, “the Shaw conference sought to convince existing interracial organizations like the CIC to work for complete social, political, and economic equality of the races, to organize the masses, and to change their character and structure to meet those goals.” My reading of this is that the conference was the first in the South to endorse integration by putting pressure on existing civil rights groups who, they felt, were taking a too gradualist approach.

    You raise another interesting question about whether or not Washington D.C. is truly considered part of the South. 🙂 While it is certainly geographically located south of the Mason-Dixon line, it was not a part of the old confederacy. JFK called it a city of “southern efficiency and northern charm.” I suppose there are a variety of ways to evaluate “southernness.”

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