Pearl Cleage papers, 1966-2011
Pearl Cleage papers, 1966-2011
Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library
Atlanta, GA 30322
Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/c4jrb
Table of Contents
|Title:||Pearl Cleage papers, 1966-2011|
|Call Number:||Manuscript Collection No. 1223|
|Extent:||86 linear ft. (86 boxes), 4 oversized papers (OP), and 1 oversized bound volume (OBV)|
|Abstract:||Personal papers of African American author and playwright Pearl Cleage including personal journals, writings, correspondence, printed material, photographs, and audiovisual material|
|Language:||Materials entirely in English.|
Restrictions on Access
Personal journals are closed to researchers until December 7, 2037.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.
[after identification of item(s)], Pearl Cleage papers, Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.
Pearl Cleage was born on December 7, 1948, in Springfield, Massachusetts, the daughter of Doris Graham and Albert B. Cleage, Jr. She grew up in Detroit, Michigan, where her mother was a teacher and her father was a church pastor. Albert Cleage was a leader in liberation theology, including the founding and leadership of The Shrines of the Black Madonna of the Pan-African Orthodox Christian Church, and the creation of the Freedom Now political party.
After graduating from Northwestern High School in 1966, Cleage enrolled at Howard University in Washington, D.C., where she majored in playwriting and dramatic literature under the tutelage of Owen Dodson, Paul Carter Harrison, and Ted Shine. She also took an active role in many demonstrations and protests marking this turbulent time. In 1969, she moved to Atlanta and enrolled at Spelman College, graduating in 1971 with a bachelor's degree in drama. She later joined the Spelman faculty as a writer and playwright in residence and as a creative director.
From 1972-1973, she produced Ebony Beat and Ebony Beat Journal, a weekly contemporary affairs program on WQXI-TV (Atlanta), that focused on issues of interest to the African American community. In 1973, she joined Maynard Jackson's mayoral campaign as principal speechwriter, and once he was elected, stayed on as his press secretary until 1976. Since then, her contribution to the Atlanta community has been steady and intense, finding expression through her columns in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta Gazette, and Atlanta Tribune; in the pages of Catalyst, a literary journal she cofounded and edited; and in her work as a faculty member at Spelman.
Her first novel, What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day (1997) was a New York Times bestseller and a 1998 Oprah's [Winfrey] Book Club selection. In addition to her numerous works of fiction, Cleage has also published several volumes of poetry, and has written and produced numerous plays.
She was married to Michael Lomax, an Atlanta politician and educator, from 1969 to 1979 and they are the parents of one daughter, Deignan Njeri. Cleage married Zaron W. Burnett Jr., writer and theatre director in 1994 and they have collaborated on many creative projects over the years.
Scope and Content Note
The collection consists of the papers of African American author and playwright Pearl Cleage from circa 1966-2011. The papers include personal journals, writings, correspondence, printed material, photographs, and audiovisual material. The writings include manuscript and typescript drafts of her works of fiction, plays, poetry, and newspaper and magazine articles.
The correspondence is comprised of letters to colleagues, friends, editors, producers, and reviewers; as well as her family. Of particular interest are letters written to family, beginning with her enrollment at Howard University in 1967 and continuing through the 1980s. These letters provide partial documentation of her earliest creative efforts, and especially her growing radicalism during her undergraduate years. The audiovisual material consists of recordings of productions of Cleage's plays, readings, and performances; as well as recordings of Albert B. Cleage, Jr. sermons.
The photographs include images of Pearl Cleage, her family, and other African American women writers; as well as photographs used in the publication of Catalyst. The collection also contains printed material, including newspaper clippings and published articles by and about her; as well as reviews of her works.
- African American women college teachers.
- African American theater.
- African American women--Poetry.
- African American women authors--20th century.
- African American women dramatists--20th century.
- African American women poets--20th century.
- African Americans--Drama.
- American drama--African American authors--20th century.
- Women authors, American--20th century.
|4||Printed material by/about; Writings, Babylon Sisters and Carl's Song; Some Things I Never Thought I'd Do (advance reading copy); correspondence|
|6||Correspondence: Henry Cleage to Pearl Cleage, 1983-1996; audiovisual; Speeches; Writings, Till You Hear From Me|
|7||Awards and decorative items|
|8||Printed material by/about; Correspondence; photographs|
|9||Printed material by/about; Correspondence; photographs|
|10||Audiovisual; Printed material by/about|
|12||Writings, I Wish I Had a Red Dress; Puppetplay/Writings by others|
|13||Henry Cleage: The Illustrated News, family letters, photographs, and writings|
|15||Writings; Some Things I Never Thought I'd Do; artifacts: altar|
|16||Writings, Plays, Printed material by/about|
|17||Writings, correspondence; Correspondence: Henry Cleage to Pearl Cleage, 1991-1993|
|18||Correspondence, Printed material by/about|
|18||Audiovisual, Maynard Jackson's funeral and printed about same|
|20||Photographs; Writings, Some Things I Never Thought I'd Do; Scrapbook; Correspondence|
|21||Writings: Baby Brother's Blues|
|22||Awards and photographs|
|23||Printed material by/about; yearbooks and baby book|
|24||Writings, A Song for Coretta and Baby Brother Blues, printed material by/about, appearances; correspondence|
|25||Writings, Blues for Alabama Sky|
|26||Writings, Bourdon at Border and others|
|27||Family papers, Deignan Lomax; subject files|
|29||Correspondence 2002-2003; print material by/about|
|32||"Audiovisual, printed material by/about appearances; correspondence; Writings, Babylon Sister|
|33||Writings, I Wish I Had a Red Dress and others; Audiovisual|
|34||Correspondence and Artifacts: altar|
|35||Photographs; Awards, related material to Read Detroit and Booking Matters|
|36||Oprah Winfrey, Legends weekend material, photographs; Writings by Cleage and others|
|38||Hurricane Katrina, printed material and audiovisual; correspondence|
|39||Writings, Seen It All and Done the Rest|
|40||Writings, Seen It All and Done the Rest and photographs|
|41||Writings, Baby Brother's Blues|
|42||Writings, Seen It All and Done the Rest|
|43||Writings, Baby Brother's Blues|
|44||Awards and photographs of plays|
|46||Writings, Flyin' West; printed material by/about|
|47||Writings, Flyin' West; printed material by/about|
|48||Writings, Love & Trouble; Audiovisual|
|49||Writings, Some Things I Never Thought I'd Do publishers material; political buttons|
|50||Post card correspondence; Flyin' West dust jacket and award; Deals with the Devil (uncorrected proof)|
|51||Printed material, subject files|
|52||Correspondence; greeting cards; printed material by/about; photographs|
|53||National Black Arts Festival, 2008; correspondence, 2005-2008; printed material; Writings including Picturing Peace|
|54||Family correspondence, Albert Cleage writings and sermons; The Illustrated News|
|55||Writings; Family correspondence; Appearances; subject files|
|56||Writings; Appearances; Correspondence|
|57||Correspondence, Writings by others; Writing, What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day|
|58||Writings, A Song for Coretta etc.; correspondence/greeting cards; subject files|
|59||Writings, A Song for Coretta etc.; correspondence/greeting cards; subject files|
|60||Subject file, Cosby Chair at Spelman|
|61||Family correspondence (Doris Cleage and Henry Cleage); Audiovisual; A.B. Spelman writings and correspondence|
|62||Subject files; printed by/about|
|63||Albert Cleage papers; family photographs; family correspondence|
|64||Audiovisuals, VHS and audio tapes of Albert Cleage's sermons; Jaramogi dvd's of photos and printed material; Correspondence between Albert Cleage and Pearl Cleage, 1968-1972 and Doris Cleage and Henry Cleage, 1968-1977|
|65||Correspondence and photographs|
|66||Correspondence; printed material by/about|
|67||Correspondence, Oprah Winfrey Legends|
|68||Photographs; diplomas/degrees; yearbook; awards|
|69||Writings; Till You Hear From Me|
|70||Audiovisual, CDs of Seen It All and Done the Rest, etc; The Illustrated News CD (1961-1964); Correspondence|
|71||Correspondence; printed material by/about|
|72||Appearances, Correspondence, subject files|
|73||Writings, Babylon Sisters and A Song for Coretta|
|74||Club Zebra; Correspondence Zaron Burnett/Pearl Cleage|
|75||Georgia Theater Network|
|77||Ebony Beat subject files, 1970s; correspondence|
|78||Correspondence; Writings 1960s-1970s; Subject files; Shrine of the Black Madonna; Correspondence; Ebony Beat|
|79||Subject file, 1970s; Class work Howard University, Owen Dodson class; Writings, 1960-1970; Correspondence|
|81||Writings, Some Things I Never Thought I'd Do; Correspondence; Printed material by/about|
|82||Oprah Winfrey, Radio City|
|83||Teaching files, Spelman; Appearances|
|85||Appearances, Correspondence, subject files|
|86||Audiovisual: Club Zebra performances|
|OBV1||Scrapbook: Just Us Theatre|