IOWA WOMEN’S ARCHIVES

UNIVERSITY OF IOWA LIBRARIES

IOWA CITY, IOWA

 

UNITED SISTERS OF BLACK HAWK COUNTY

TITLE:»

RECORDS, »1984-1996

10 linear inchesDATES:»

»QUANTITY:»

 

ACQUISITION:

The records» (donor no. 431) were donated by Essie Buls in 1997.

ACCESS:

The »records are open for research.

COPYRIGHT:

»Copyright has been transferred to the University of Iowa.

PHOTOGRAPHS:

In boxes 1 and 2.

PROCESSED BY:

Your name, year»Melanie Jacobs, 1997; Kathryn M. Neal, 1998; Robert Jett, 1999 [UnitedSisters.doc]

 

»History

            The United Sisters of Black Hawk County (United Sisters) is an Iowa women’s networking organization for women of color that was established in 1987.  Its charter members were five women of color:  Clozelle Harris, Essie Johnson (now Buls), Rosalyn Middleton, Bonetta Culp, and Diana Fortenberry. As its mission, the organization seeks to uplift the status of women of color of all ages in the areas of economic, employment, educational, cultural, and networking development. Local and state issues are addressed through monthly business meetings, social projects, and an annual state conference. The United Sisters also organize weekly exercise classes, workshops, forums, and special events.  Examples of events sponsored include an all-male fashion show, a Miss Black Hawk Scholarship Pageant, and an annual black history and cultural fair.  The headquarters for the organization is the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) of Black Hawk County.  United Sisters also features a branch for girls, United Teens. The teen group’s mission is to encourage girls of color to gather to discuss the prejudices they may hold and discrimination they may experience in their lives.

            United Sisters is the Iowa state affiliate of Networking Together, Inc., a non-profit coalition of state networks representing American Indian, Asian-American, African-American, and Hispanic women in seven states:  Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.  The coalition actively addresses issues of common concern that affect the economic self-sufficiency of women of color.  Networking Together organizes conferences annually, which are open to all members of the state affiliates.         

Scope and Content Note

            Begin text here:The United Sisters of Black Hawk County records date from 1984 »to 1996 and measure 10 linear inches. These records were originally organized in scrapbooks, which have been disbound.  Photocopies of the scrapbooks’ original order may be found in the collection.  The records are divided into five series:  Administrative material, Events, Historical and biographical material, Scrapbooks, and Photographs.

            The Events series (1984-1996 and undated) includes material relating to the organization’s production of two plays, For Colored Girls who have considered Suicide when the Rainbow is Enuf and The Wiz.  A folder of miscellaneous material includes newspaper clippings, correspondence, a certificate, programs, and photographs that chronicle events for which there is little directly related material throughout the rest of the series.  This folder also contains newspaper clippings that describe United Sisters’ members’ activities or involvement in community issues.  One folder of material relating to the 1988 Networking Together, Inc., Conference includes articles of incorporation, a draft of by-laws, and other documents that date from 1984.                                   

The Historical and biographical material  series (1987-1996 and undated) consists of background material pertaining to United Sisters, the YWCA of Black Hawk County, such as yearbooks, brochures, and newspaper articles.  Material relating to two members of the organization, Ruth Bluford Anderson and Billie Lloyd may be found in this series.  It includes a photograph dated 1990, which features then-Black Hawk County Supervisor Ruth Bluford Anderson participating in a parade.

Items in the Photographs series (1987-1994 and undated) are arranged by the events which they document.  Some of the individuals who participated in the 1989 “Hats Off to Iowa Men” fashion show are identified; their names may be found in the box list.   Additional photographs of Ruth Bluford Anderson and Billie D. Lloyd may be found throughout the series.  A photograph of Mary Dickens, several of Essie Johnson Buls, and photographs of Almo Hawkins are also included.  The locations of these photographs may be found in the box list.

 

 

Related Collections

 

Ruth Bluford Anderson papers

Mary Dickens papers

Billie Lloyd papers

 

Box no.           Description

 

Box 1

Administrative material

Correspondence, 1988-1989

Financial records, 1988-1989

Minutes and related material

1987-1988

1989-1990 and undated

Networking Together, Inc., 1988-1989 (2 folders)

United Teens of Black Hawk County, 1988-1991 and undated

 

Events

Black History and Cultural Fair, 1991 and 1993

Fashion show: “Hats Off to Iowa Men”

     1989

     1990

     1991

     1992-1993

Iowa Women of Color Conference

1988

1989

1990

1992-1993

Miscellaneous activities, 1986-1993 and undated

Miss Black Iowa Scholarship Pageant, 1988-1989 (2 folders)

Networking Together, Inc. Conference

1984-1988

1989-1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1996

Plays, 1989-1990

 

Box 2

Historical and biographical material

United Sisters, 1987-1996 and undated

YWCA of Black Hawk County, 1990-1992 and undated

     Ruth Bluford Anderson and Billie Lloyd, 1988-1990 and undated

 

Scrapbooks (photocopies)

1986-1988

1989-1990

1989-1993

                                         Black History and Cultural Fair, 1991-1992

                                         Fashion show:  “Hats Off to Iowa Men”

     1989

        Includes photographs of:

        Carver, Don

        Elliot, Mitch

        Garza, Rudy

        Lowe, Russell

        Prideaux, Mike

        Pugh, Charles

        Shipman, Bob

        Shook, Roger

        Shoultz, Don

        Wright, Cliff

     1990

        Includes photographs of Ruth Bluford Anderson

     1991

     1992

Iowa Women of Color Conference, 1988-1993

     1989 conference photographs include photographs of

         Ruth Bluford Anderson

Miscellaneous activities, 1989-1994 and undated

   Includes photographs of:

   Anderson, Ruth Bluford

   Buls, Esie Johnson

   Dickens, Mary

   Hawkins, Elmo

   Lloyd, Bille

   Middleton, Rosalyn

   Smith, Robert

Miss Black Iowa Scholarship Pageant, 1988-1989

Networking Together, Inc. Conference (regional), 1991-1994

     Plays, 1989-1990

        Includes photographs of Essie Johnson Buls