James H. Hargett: Honolulu (Hawaii) Ministry files, 1955-1958

By Amber L. Moore, Project Archivist, Amistad Research Center

“Working for Freedom: Documenting Civil Rights Organizations” is a collaborative project between Emory University’s Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library, The Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, The Amistad Research Center at Tulane University, and The Robert W. Woodruff Library of Atlanta University Center to uncover and make available previously hidden collections documenting the Civil Rights Movement in Atlanta and New Orleans. The project is administered by the Council on Library and Information Resources with funds from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Each organization regularly contributes blog posts about their progress.

For more information about the collection described in this post, please contact the Amistad Research Center, reference [at] amistadresearchcenter [dot] org

Rev. James Hargett was ordained to ministry of the Congregational Church in 1955, and served as an associate minister of the predominately Japanese American Church of the Crossroads United Church of Christ (UCC) in Honolulu from 1955 to 1958.  He was the first African American minister called to serve a Protestant-established church in Hawaii.

The Honolulu (Hawaii) files consist of Hargett’s personal minister’s record book (1955-1957) which includes information about marriages he performed, as well as sermons he preached while in Hawaii.

Above:  Rev. Hargett’s Personal Minister’s Record Book, 1955-1957.  Click to enlarge.

A scrapbook containing correspondence, greeting cards, essays, ephemera, photographs, news clippings, and newsletters is also included.  Of particular note in the scrapbook are Hargett’s notes to his congregants published in The Crossroads News (September 1955), which detail his first airplane trip to Hawaii with his wife, Louilyn and infant daughter, Meloni; thank you notes from Roosevelt high school students after his speech on segregation (November 1955); programs for his installation service (December 11, 1955); a birth announcement for his son Darryl published in The Crossword Chimes (May 1957); and a handmade Christmas card and photograph (December 1957) sent to the Hargett family from the Andrew Young family.

Above left:  The Crossroads News (September 1955).  Above right:  Thank you notes from Roosevelt High school students, 1955.  Click to enlarge.
Above left:  Rev. and Mrs. Hargett with daughter Meloni and newborn son Darryl.  Above right:  Christmas card from Rev. and Mrs. Andrew Young and family.  Click to enlarge.

The Amistad Research Center received funding from The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Cataloging Hidden and Special Collections Program to process nine manuscript collections documenting Civil Rights era organizational history.  The James H. Hargett papers were processed under the CLIR grant.

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