In the spring of 2019, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library will host the symposium Blacks on the Left, an interdisciplinary exploration of the role of radical politics in African American life and culture.


The Rose Library is home to one of the world’s premier archives of African American history and culture. For 21 years we have documented hundreds of individuals and organizations, resulting in the preservation of over 5,000 linear feet of manuscripts and 13,000 print titles. One of the strengths of our collection is documentation of the depth and breadth of black political expression in the United States, ranging from early anti-slavery efforts to modern LGBTQ activism.


Included in our holdings are the papers of Louise Thompson Patterson (1901-1999) and Matt (1903-1996) and Evelyn Crawford (1899-1972). Friends and colleagues in the American Communist Party, Patterson and the Crawfords went so far as to travel to the Soviet Union to produce the film Black and White, a documentary about race relations in the United States. In 2016, their daughters, Evelyn Crawford and Mary Louise Patterson, published Letters from Langston: From the Harlem Renaissance to the Red Scare and Beyond, an edited volume of their parents’ correspondence with Langston Hughes. This symposium will be held in honor of their contributions to American life and letters, with their daughters invited to attend as special guests of honor.

The Blacks on the Left Symposium is supported by Emory Libraries, the Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry, the James Weldon Johnson Institute and the Departments of African American Studies, English and Religion.