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Edgar (Eddie) Sandifer papers

 Collection
Identifier: Coll2011-012

Scope and Contents

The collection comprises the personal papers and organizational records of Mississippi civil rights activist Edgar Sandifer, 1929-2014. Organizational materials consist of his administrative, financial, promotional, and legal records as part of the Mississippi Gay Alliance (MGA), Persons with AIDS/HIV Project (PWA), Jackson Gray Panthers (JGP), and People's Anti-War Mobilization (PAM). The administrative files include meeting minutes, memoranda, correspondence, notes, and by-laws. Financial materials include bank statements, treasurer reports, expense reports, budgets, tax documents, and grant and funding applications. Promotional materials include newsletters, articles, press releases, brochures, publications, and counseling services materials. Legal materials include charters of incorporation, deeds of trust, contracts, and legal defense materials.

The MGA series, 1971-1998, documents the organization's administrative history; the affiliations and resources utilized to provide and support the organization's services; the memberships and chartered corporations with which the organization was directly associated; the MGA newsletter; and topical resources relating to gay issues and events. The PWA series, 1961-1996, documents the organization's administrative history; the affiliations and resources utilized to provide and support the organization's services; and the services provided to those with AIDS-related illnesses and needs. The JGP series, 1975-1996, documents the organization's administrative history and the services it provided to the elderly. The PAM series, 1974-1996, includes promotional items, publications, and correspondence regarding labor rights and anti-war programs.

The Personal papers series, 1929-1997, consists of awards, holiday cards, military documents, familial data, and a personal diary. The Audiovisual materials series consists of photographs and audiocassettes of Sandifer's life and work, 1948-1995, including recorded interviews and images of weddings, drag shows, official public appearances, and social gatherings with friends and family. The Newspaper clippings series, 1966-1995, includes materials from local Mississippi newspapers regarding Sandifer's advocacy work and his general interest in topics such as racism, AIDS, and homophobia. The Memorabilia series, 1974-1989, consists of banners, t-shirts, name badges, needle work, and posters among other materials.

Dates

  • 1929-2014
  • Majority of material found within 1950-1998

Creator

Access

The collection is open to researchers. There are no access restrictions.

Publication Rights

Researchers wishing to publish material must obtain permission in writing from ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives as the physical owner of the material. Note that permission to publish does not constitute copyright clearance. ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives can grant copyright clearance only for those materials for which we hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain copyright clearance for all other materials from the copyright holder(s).

Biography

Edgar Allen Sandifer, Jr. was born on October 4, 1929, in Cotton Valley, Louisiana, to Beulah Myrtis and Harvey Edgar Allen Sandifer, a Southern Baptist minister. Professing to have never been in the closet, even while in the military, Sandifier served in the Korean War from 1950-1953 and was honorably discharged as a sergeant with an operative care specialization. His experience in the Army's Operative Care Unit led to his work as a nursing home administrator from 1955-1977. Sandifer officiated gay wedding ceremonies throughout the 1970s. At a 1958 Mattachine Society meeting, Sandifer was referred to as "the only queer from the South" (quotes from Outweek, June 27, 1990).

Sandifer fought for gay, lesbian, women's, elderly, laborer, prisoner, and minority causes, creating a wide network of humanitarian affiliations and memberships. His grassroots work aimed to change the status quo and fill gaps in government social services through education, legal, and monetary support services. His organizational projects include the Mississippi Gay Alliance (MGA) where he was director from 1973-1989; the Jackson Gray Panthers (JGP) where he was project director from 1976-1987; and the Persons with AIDS Project (PWA), an MGA offshoot, where he was director from 1982-1989. He was also on the board of directors for the Mississippi Health Systems Agency from 1982-1986, the National Citizens Coalition for Nursing Home Reform from 1982-1986, and the National Gray Panthers Health Watch Task Force. He also served as a member of the Workers World Party and the People's Anti-War Mobilization (PAM).

For an administrative history of the MGA, PWA, JGP, and PAM organizations, please refer to those particular series.

Extent

26.25 Linear Feet ([24 record boxes and 2 flat boxes])

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

The collection comprises organizational records and personal papers of Mississippi civil rights activist Edgar Sandifer, 1929-2014. Organizational materials include his administrative, financial, promotional, and legal records as part of the Mississippi Gay Alliance (MGA), Persons with AIDS/HIV Project (PWA), Jackson Gray Panthers (JGP), and People's Anti-War Mobilization (PAM). The personal materials include photographs, memorabilia, and personal papers.

Arrangement

The records are arranged in the following series:

Series 1. Mississippi Gay Alliance, 1953-1998

Series 2. Persons with AIDS/HIV Project, 1974-1996

Series 3. Jackson Gray Panthers, 1975-1996

Series 4. People's Anti-War Mobilization, 1974-1996

Series 5. Personal records, 1929-2014

Series 6. Audiovisual materials, 1948-1995

Series 7. Newspaper clippings, 1966-1995

Series 8. Memorabilia, 1974-1989

Physical Characteristics note

The documents have been arranged based on small organized sections within the original collection. Materials received without a decipherable organization were integrated with related organized materials or grouped in general chronological files within that series.

Deaccessioned materials include duplicates, Post-its, and moldly items. The discarded moldly items were replaced with photocopies and notated inserts. Photocopies of original documents were made prior to removal of Post-its.

Collection processed by Medria Martin, supervised by Kyle Morgan, January 2012.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Original date and method of acquisition unknown. Deed of Gift signed 2016.

Related Materials

Information about Sandifer can be found in John Howard's Men Like That, Neil Miller's Out in the World, Darrell Yates Rist's Heartlands, James Sears' Lonely Hunters and Growing up Gay in the South, and Studs Terkel's American Dreams (under the name Charlie Dellakamp).

Separated Materials

The "Jack's Saloon" and "Teddy Bears, Biloxi" T-shirts have been separated to the ONE Archives T-shirt collection.

Processing Information

Processing this collection has been funded by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Collection has been pulled from boxes A149, 103-1, 103-84, 103-84a, 103-84b, 103-84c, 103-218, 103-227, 104-52, 104-62 to 104-69, 104-71 to 104-75. Collection processing completed by Medria Martin in November 2011. Materials were added to the Edgar Sandifer Papers from the ONE Archives Subject Files and AIDS History Project collections. These added materials are indicated in the file notes in the Persons with AIDS series.

The documents have been arranged based on small organized sections within the original collection. Materials received without a decipherable organization were integrated with related organized materials or grouped in general chronological files within that series.

Accrual processed by Kyle Morgan, 2015.

Creator

Title
Finding aid to the Edgar Sandifer papers
Status
Completed
Author
Medria Martin and Kyle Morgan
Date
© 2012, 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is inEnglish.

Repository Details

Part of the ONE Archives at the USC Libraries, University of Southern California Repository

Contact:
909 West Adams Boulevard
Los Angeles California 90007 United States
(213) 821-2771