Rosemarie Freeney Harding sound recordings, 1981-1998

Emory University

Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322


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Descriptive Summary

Creator: Freeney Harding, Rosemarie.
Title: Rosemarie Freeney Harding sound recordings, 1981-1998
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 1294
Extent: .5 linear feet (1 box)
Abstract:Sound recordings of civil rights activist Rosemarie Freeney Harding, including interviews she conducted with Ella Baker and interviews of Harding conducted by her daughter Rachel Harding.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

This collection was restricted until 2017 per donor request.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Related Materials in This Repository

Vincent Harding papers and Veterans of Hope Project records


Gift of Rachel Harding, 2014

Custodial History

Rachel Harding is Rosemarie Freeney Harding's daughter.


[after identification of item(s)], Rosemarie Freeney Harding sound recordings, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.

Appraisal Note

Acquired by Curator of African American Collections, Randall Burkett, as part of the Rose Library's holdings in African American history and the Civil Rights Movement. Archivists has retained all material acquired with the collection.


Arranged and described at the item level by Sarah Quigley, April 2014.

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Collection Description

Biographical Note

Rosemarie Florence Freeney Harding (1930-2004) was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Dock Freeney, Jr. and Ella Lee Harris Freeney, the youngest of nine children. She graduated from Carver High School in the Altgeld Gardens neighborhood of Chicago and later received a Bachelor's degree in Sociology from Goshen College (Goshen, Indiana) in 1955. She was a social worker and teacher in Chicago until 1961, when she moved to Atlanta, Georgia, with Vincent Harding whom she had married the year before. The Hardings had two children, Rachel and Jonathan, and Rosemarie worked as a substitute teacher, helping to found the city's first interracial preschool. The couple also became deeply involved in the Civil Rights Movement, founding the South's first interracial voluntary service center, Mennonite House, in their home.

After the Harding family left Atlanta in 1971, Rosemarie Harding resumed her education, earning a Master's degree in history and women's studies from Goddard College (Plainfield, Vermont) in 1978 and a Master's degree in social work in the early 1980s. From 1979-1981, she worked as a teacher and counselor at the Pendle Hill Quaker Study Center where she worked on a curriculum centered around the connection between spirituality and social justice. When the Harding's moved to Denver in 1981, she continued to co-teach similar courses with her husband at the Iliff School of Theology. In Denver she was also a social worker with the Family Crisis Center of the Denver Department of Social Services.

In the early 1950s, Harding joined the Mennonite church, which had a significant influence on her social justice activism, but she also explored and studied numerous religious and spiritual practices in her life. In 1990, she studied with the Dalai Lama in Dharmsala, India, and also studied the Afro-Brazilian religion Condomblé with her daughter Rachel. In 1997, Rosemarie and Vincent Harding co-founded the Veterans of Hope Project. As part of the project, the Hardings, along with their daughter Rachel, conducted interviews with international human rights activists; developed educational curricula that emphasized nonviolence and peaceful reconciliation in social justice work; and organized workshops, symposia, and multiple youth events that offered training in nonviolence and leadership development.

Rosemarie Freeney Harding died on March 1, 2004.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of sound recordings of Rosemarie Freeney Harding conducting interviews with Ella Baker (1981), as well as interviews of Harding conducted by her daughter Rachel Harding (1997-1998) and recordings of other speeches and events given or attended by Harding. The interviews with Ella Baker cover Baker's childhood and early professional life while the interviews between Rosemarie and Rachel Harding contain Harding's remembrances of her parents, family, and her childhood in Chicago, as well as reflections on spirituality and her experiences with activism. In the interviews, she also discusses her spiritual ancestry, speaking about her great-grandmother Mama Rye (Mariah Grant), an herbalist born in Africa; her grandmother Mama Liza (Liza Grant Harris) who was a mid-wife; and her mother Mama Freeney (Elle Lee Harris Freeney) who continued the tradition by keeping herbs and making home remedies throughout her life.

Arrangement Note

Arranged by content type, then in chronological order.

Selected Search Terms

Personal Names

Topical Terms

Form/Genre Terms

Container List

Rosemarie Freeney Harding interviews with Ella Baker
Box Folder Content
1 - 1981 December 18: Side A: Ella Baker, Friday. Side B: Ella Baker graduation from Shaw and years in New York City "education"
1 - 1981 December 18: Side A: Ella Baker, Randy Blackwell. Side B: Ella Baker family
1 - 1981 December 19: Side A: Saturday evening, childhood experience. Side B: Rosemarie Freeney Harding and Ella Baker
1 - 1990 November 11: FMC Rosemarie Freeney Harding, "Peacemakers I have Known"
Interviews and events with Rosemarie Freeney Harding
1 - 1997 March 29 and April 6: Rosemarie Freeney Harding, "Passing on the DNA of Healing"
1 - 1997 October 20: Rosemarie Freeney Harding, Reflections on the Veterans of Hope Project (GHK) interview process and value of questions about spiritual life; also remembrances of Mama [Ella Lee Harris] Freeney
1 - 1997 October and November: Rosemarie Freeney Harding, Rachel Harding and Vincent Harding on death, biographies and ritual
1 - 1997 November 15: Discussion on workshops, collective gathering
1 - 1997 November 19: Fu-Kiau Bunseki (Doctor) at dinner with Rosemarie Freeney Harding and Rachel Harding
1 - 1997 November 27: Rosemarie Freeney Harding, Rosemarie's stories. Side A: Vernon, Woodlawn and Altgeld [Gardens]. Side B: Movement folks, ideas and book organization
1 - 1997 December 1: Rosemarie Freeney Harding, Side A: Assorted family stories; Georgia and Chicago; Aunt Mary and Alma's [Campbell] legacy; Aunt Hettie and Sue [Verrett] in Atlanta; "3-act Idea;" first expanding of Hot Rolls. Side B: Camp food, Darden family, Daddy Freeney, mom and Canadian patroa, Woodlawn
1 - 1997 December 3: On Remnants, volume 1, book proposal
1 - 1997 December 4: On "Remnants" Side A: Childhood. Side B: Mystic spirituality; Juanita and blackness
1 - 1997 December 6: On "Remnants" African heritage. Side B: On "Remnants;" Mystic spirituality (section 3); Juanitia and blackness
1 - 1997 December 19: Auntie Mildred Dozier and Rachel and Rose reminiscences
1 - 1997 December 24: Rose, Jean, Rachel and a little of Beverly at the beginning, Auntie's house tape 1
1 - 1997 December 24: Rose, Jean and Rachel tape 2
1 - 1997 December 27 and 29: Nataleen Coleman and Rosemarie Freeney Harding.
1 - 1997 December 30-31: Side A: Rosemarie Freeney Harding's story inspired by NOVA special "Anastasia"; the sisters
1 - 1998 January 3: Side B: Joe Daniels (cousin)
1 - 1998 January 3 and 4: Side A: Joe Daniels at Nataleen's House. Side B: Auntie Alma [Campbell] with Mildred [Dozier], Rose and Rachel
1 - 1998 January 4: Side A: Alma Campbell (Chicago, Illinois), songs written by Aretha Franklin. Side B: Songs written by Aretha Franklin
1 - 1998 January 16-18: Rosemarie Freeney Harding, pain journal and other thoughts
1 - 1998 January 18: Rosemarie Freeney Harding on Koinonia, Clarence and Mennonite House
1 - 1998 January 18-19: Rosemarie Freeney Harding on dreams, lights, Clarence, etc.
1 - 1998 January 27: Rosemarie Freeney Harding on Joe Daniels, South
1 - 1998 February 2: Rosemarie Freeney Harding, Koinonia, Dalai Lama, Marion King
1 - 1998 February 3: Koinonia, Dharamsala, Dalai Lama
1 - 1998 February 5 (?): Rosemarie Freeney Harding on Georgia and spirit of humanity in Mama Rye [Mariah Grant], Clarence and Florence, CB, Slater and Marion King; Remnants; Healing History; recorded music
1 - 1998 February 22: Meeting in Rya's yard (story)
1 - 1998 March 23: Organization of Remnants; Mama Rye's [Mariah Grant] spiritual grounding; Hot Rolls
1 - 1998 March 29: Notes for Remnants
1 - 1998 March 30: Rosemarie Freeney Harding, "Scattered Thoughts, Chicago"
1 - 1998 July 23: Rosemarie Freeney Harding youth in Chicago