Sacrifice – The Rosses in the South

The M. H. Ross Papers digital collection is now publicly accessible online. Digitization of the M. H. Ross Papers is being funded by a $48,865 grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission and will continue through September 2018.

By early 1941, Mike Ross was working as a Field Representative for the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), which was still part of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) at the time. Mike’s official duties involved a tremendous amount of responsibilities, including helping workers gain signatures to get elections and unionize, bargaining with companies, handling grievances, and even designing and mimeographing all leaflets on his own. Constantly on the move from one plant to another, from state to state, Mike worked at a feverish pace and faced significant harassment and even danger.

Organizers Homer Wilson and Oscar Wiles were kidnapped and viciously beaten in Roane County, Tennessee in 1941 [L2001-05_012_17 43]

On the night of September 26, 1941, Homer Wilson and Oscar Wiles, representatives for Mine, Mill & Smelter Workers (MMSW) and UMWA were driving out of Harriman, Tennessee after a large pre-election meeting when their car was ambushed. Kidnapped at gunpoint, the men were driven into the woods where they were stripped, tied to trees, and then savagely beaten before hot tar was poured over their bodies. After they were released without their clothing into the cold night, the two men walked five miles to a farm for help.

As news of this violence spread, CIO headquarters in Knoxville asked if anyone would volunteer to resume the work in Roane County, Tennessee, Mike Ross was one of two men to immediately raise his hand.

Ross left Saltville, Virginia, where he had been organizing the Mathieson Alkali Works, and began work on elections in Rockwood, Tennessee. Under the cover of darkness, he would enter Roane County surrounded by cars full of armed laborers for protection. Everyone would meet in a small, darkened worker’s house, sometimes fitting 40-60 people in one room, and they would play music, give speeches, and organize. Under these conditions, this underground movement prepared for an election. In January of 1942, Roane County Smelter Workers Union 579 won a labor board election by a vote of 323-1. The following April in Rockwood, Tennessee, over 500 people participated in a victory parade hosted by the CIO.

Rockwood, Tennessee Victory Parade, April 1942 [L2001-05_094_0063]

February of 1942 found Mike in Spartanburg, South Carolina for a meeting with workers of the Taylor-Colquitt Wood Preserving Company. After the meeting, Mike and others with him were followed and harassed by some of the plant supervisors and the wife of the superintendent of the company. Worried about his safety, he first called the police and then drove to the jail asking for an escort out of town but the police declined. For five hours, Mike sat in the police station while a mob of around 75 people formed outside. Inside, he was abused and his life was threatened by the superintendent’s wife and her companions and the police not only allowed this to continue, but also one officer informed Ross that some labor organizers in town had either died suddenly or had disappeared. After this grueling ordeal, Mike was finally escorted out of town unharmed.

Mike Ross spent a majority of time for the remainder of 1942 in Bessemer and Birmingham, Alabama, where he helped unionize locals, worked on war-time resolutions for workers, and also administrated an educational program. Over 200 members of 18 locals and auxiliaries registered for union classes in Bessemer, AL, many of whom could not read or write but still came out to learn many of the same topics that Mike himself learned at the Southern Summer School for Workers.

By his side through everything was his wife Buddie who, herself, was quite active. She organized ladies’ auxiliaries to pass out flyers welcoming Roosevelt’s Fair Employment Practices Committee (FEPC) hearings in Birmingham and she also canvassed for election votes, sometimes going so far as to pose as an employee to gain access to workers on business property. [L2001-05_012_17 11]

Despite the progress made in Alabama, Ross and other organizers faced frequent attacks from white supremacists and other anti-union forces. After one particular episode in which his home was ransacked and his life threatened, Ross and a then-pregnant Buddie left Alabama to Tennessee for the birth of their first child. From 1943-1945, Mike served as a rifleman in World War II on the European front, where he received disabling injuries for which he was honorably discharged. Not long after returning to the US, he resumed his labor activities.

In 1946, Mike Ross and an African American union representative named Frank Allen moved to Macon, Georgia as a part of Operation Dixie, which was aimed at unionizing anti-labor strongholds in the South, especially within textile manufacturing. All-white primaries had just been federally overturned in Georgia and, while African Americans were registering to vote in masses, the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacists responded with ferocity and terror.

Mike Ross (left), pictured with three African American men with a burned cross which had been set on fire in a black residential neighborhood in an effort to stop unions, 1940s [L2001-05_001]

Mike, Buddie, and their three year-old daughter moved first into a motel room and then rented a small shack while staying in town. An outspoken activist for Civil rights, Mike experienced trouble from the beginning in Macon and, though he was very successful in organizing several small plants, he and his family paid a very dear price.

After moving to the shack, the family’s landlord warned them that the KKK was out to kill Mike and gave Buddie instructions on how to escape with their daughter when—not if—the KKK arrived to lynch him. The fear of violence was so great that friends would often camp out at the home, armed with guns just in case.

In August of 1946, while the Ross family was out of town, their home was ransacked and a threatening letter was left behind. Immediately following this ordeal, the editor of the Macon Telegraph Buford Boone published an inflammatory piece on Mike, questioning the veracity of the attack on the Ross home and Mike’s integrity in general and insinuating that Mike was a Communist, publishing personal details such as work history and family relationships to back up his claims. Mike threatened legal action for libel, but a tragic attack on the family was quickly to follow.

One evening, while waiting for her husband to return from work, a pregnant Buddie opened the door to find 25 fully-robed klansmen intent on lynching her husband. After threatening her in search of her husband’s whereabouts, they left. Unaware of the danger at home, Mike had taken an alternate route that night and returned to find his wife and young child in hysterics. While hospitalized, Buddie suffered a miscarriage.

The Rosses did not stay much longer in Macon, but Mike and Buddie continued to work tirelessly in organizing unions all across the country for many more years. In the decades to come, Mike would diversify his skills time and again, showing that his moral commitment to the working class of America truly had no bounds.

To learn more about just some of Mike’s many activities in the South in the 1940s, explore these related folders:

Union arbitration materials, Spartanburg, South Carolina, 1942

Mine, Mill, and Smelter Workers, Southern Conference on Human Welfare), Tennessee and Alabama, 1942-1943

Tennessee papers, 1940s

Alabama, Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers (MMSW), [folder 1 of 2], ca 1941-1943

Alabama, Mine, Mill, and Smelter Workers (MMSW), [folder 2 of 2], ca 1941-1943

Newsclippings, papers, and correspondence – organizing in the south, MMSW and the NLRB, [folder 1 of 2], 1946

Newsclippings, papers, and correspondence – organizing in the South, MMSW and the NLRB, [folder 2 of 2], 1946

Newsclippings – labor, politics, war, [folder 1 of 2], 1940s

Newsclippings – labor, politics, war, [folder 2 of 2], 1940s

MH Ross, Interviewed by Jane Ross Davis (Tape 4 of 6)

MH Ross, Interviewed by Jane Ross Davis (Tape 5 of 6)

MH Ross, Interviewed by Jane Ross Davis (Tape 6 of 6)

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Posted in African American Studies, Digital Collections, For Faculty, For Graduate Students, For Students, History, Oral Histories, Primary Resources, Special Collections & Archives | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

A Young Man of Conviction – The Early Years of M.H. Ross

The M. H. Ross Papers digital collection is now publicly accessible online. Digitization of the M. H. Ross Papers is being funded by a $48,865 grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission and will continue through September 2018.

M.H. Ross (right) with textile worker Ernest Jones during the Southern Summer School for Workers, undated [L2001-05_113]

Myron Howard “Mike” Ross was only 11 years old when the Great Depression struck the nation. Like so many others at the time, his father, a fabric cutter by trade, found himself out of steady work in 1929 and by the age of 12, Mike was working two jobs in the summer to help the household. While in high school, Ross and his family of four lived at the Whittier Inn in Sea Gate, New York, a private community near Coney Island, thanks to his father’s part time job there as a night manager. Winter commutes to school were bitterly cold but in warmer months Mike would often sunbathe and read on the inn roof as an escape from his life of poverty.

At the age of 18, Mike dropped out of the City College of New York and traveled to Dallas, where he worked a summer job for the Mayflower Doughnut Corporation as part of the Greater Texas & Pan-American Exposition. He worked long hours operating the doughnut making machine but, with his meager earnings and some free food from his job, he was able to make ends meet.

It was at the Mayflower Doughnut Corporation that Mike Ross discovered a poem that would become a favorite mantra for the rest of his life:
“As you ramble on through life, brother,
Whatever be your goal,
Keep your eye upon the doughnut,
And not upon the hole. “

While in Dallas, Ross came into contact with people from various social and political backgrounds as part of the Unemployed Councils of Texas. As a young man still in his teens, he was furious at a system that left his tradesman father in ruins by the age of 50. This was a volatile and desperate time in the country and, while Mike was appalled by the violence that would occasionally break out around him, he was eager to learn how to improve the lives of the struggling working class. Through attending local gatherings, Ross was introduced to Socialism by an early mentor George Clifton Edwards, a civil rights advocate and humanitarian who had run on the Socialist Party ticket in the 1906 Texas gubernatorial race.

By early 1938, Ross had moved to Chickasha, Oklahoma, where he operated a water-fired boiler for an egg processing plant. It was here that he got his first taste of labor organizing—and lost his job as a result. Much to his surprise, a simple letter to a newly formed union chapter about possibly organizing some coworkers granted him a personal visit at his boarding house from David Fowler, district president of the United Mine Workers and the director of the Oklahoma-Arkansas chapter of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). Fowler explained some basics of union organizing to Ross, gave him cards for the men to sign, and said that the union would petition for National Labor Relations Board elections on their behalf. It was a whirlwind for Mike Ross but, before he could move forward on anything, word had spread of his intentions and he found himself unemployed.

Founded by the YWCA Industrial Secretaries first as the Southern School for Industrial Women Workers, by 1938 the Southern School of Workers was accepting men and women from various labor backgrounds who were interested in learning how to organize unions. [L2001-05_005_02]


Ross returned to Dallas to work on the chicken farm of a friend for room and board and continued to attend various local social meetings. He was not to stay long, however, as he soon received a full scholarship to attend the Southern Summer School for Workers in Asheville, North Carolina.

Over the course of six weeks in the summer of 1938, Mike took classes on everything from history and economics to writing leaflets and how to conduct union meetings. He was exposed to laborers and educators of various backgrounds from around the country who shared his vision of economic fairness and civil rights. Despite his young age, he was such an enthusiastic student that in 1939 he was asked to return to the school as a staff member.

In November of 1938, Mike Ross and several others traveled by car to Birmingham, Alabama to attend the first Southern Conference for Human Welfare. The purpose of this inaugural meeting was to gather support for New Deal reforms and to discuss economic and social conditions in the South. This meeting of over 1,000 delegates included U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, Alabama Governor Bibb Graves, Mary McLeod Bethune, and Eleanor Roosevelt. On the second day of the Conference, the Birmingham police, led by Eugene “Bull” Connor, attempted to segregate the audience. According to Ross, Mrs. Roosevelt placed herself in the middle of the room in protest.




Southern Summer School for Workers (Ross at center of group), undated [L2001-05_103]

When he returned to the Southern School for Workers in the summer of 1939, he brought a young lady from Kennesaw, Georgia with him to attend the school as a student. By the next year, Anne “Buddie” West would become his wife and true partner in his future endeavors. This summer, Mike Ross sharpened his skills and got more acquainted with the staff, making valuable friendships and absorbing as much information as he could.

In 1940, Ross landed a grant-funded position of $25 a week with the Labor’s Non-Partisan League in North Carolina, becoming the youngest political organizer to be hired by John L. Lewis, a labor leader whose oratory skills Mike greatly admired.

Mike’s first steady job was to encourage laborers to run for political office in their respective communities and he found great success in this and other arenas. In fact, his success in appealing to working people was so great, and his convictions so strong, that he would soon be sent to some of the most dangerous situations in the South as an organizer, at tremendous risk to his own safety and the safety of his young family.

To learn more about Mike Ross’ early life in the M.H. Ross Papers, explore these related folders:

Labor organization – articles, speeches, flyers, and notes, 1937-1939, undated
Summer School for Workers – songs, articles, programs, 1938-1943
Labor school articles, 1938-1939, undated
Labor Flyers – locals, Summer School for Workers, 1938-1939, 1941, undated

MH Ross, Interviewed by Jane Ross Davis (Tape 1 of 6)
MH Ross, Interviewed by Jane Ross Davis (Tape 2 of 6)
MH Ross, Interviewed by Jane Ross Davis (Tape 3 of 6)

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Posted in Digital Collections, For Faculty, For Graduate Students, For Students, History, Oral Histories, Political Science, Primary Resources, Resources, Special Collections & Archives | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

2018 Georgia Women’s Movement Spring Event: “March Into the Archives”

The Georgia Women’s Movement Project Spring Event is held annually to highlight collections in the Georgia State University Library Women and Gender Collections, and to celebrate the lives of the unsung heroines of the women’s movement in Georgia.

The 2018 event will bring together Janel Green, Amanda Hollowell, and Kate Van Cantfort, three outstanding women who have organized protest activities in Atlanta, Savannah and Athens, GA.

Thursday, April 19, 5:00-7:00 pm
Special Collections And Archives
University Library South, 8th Floor
100 Decatur St. SE
Atlanta, GA 30303
Register for event
or RSVP to / (404) 413-2888


Janel Green was a co-organizer of the Atlanta March for Social Justice and Women. She is now the Executive Director of the Georgia Alliance for Social Justice. Through this volunteer work, Janel seeks to strengthen our communities by advocating for justice and equity for underrepresented communities and women in Georgia.  Janel has lived in Dekalb County for 12 years. She co-founded the Lindmoor Woods Civic Association. Janel is actively involved in the Dekalb County Democratic Party and serves as the Chair of House District 86 and the co-chair of the Policy and Legislative Committee.

Janel works as the Director of Supportive Services at Lutheran Towers, a 203 unit high-rise affordable housing community located in the heart of Midtown Atlanta. She is a leader in the development of programs and services for persons living in public and affordable housing.  For over a decade, Janel has worked to change the traditional model of services from a reactive model to a proactive, person centered model using the 7 Elements of Whole Person Wellness and The Eden Alternative principles.  Janel has been a featured speaker at major conferences on housing and aging such as the American Society on Aging, The American Association of Service Coordinators, and the Illinois Governor’s Conference on Aging. Prior to her work with elders, Janel worked as an advocate for children’s mental health and criminal justice reform.

Janel holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Child Psychology from the University of Minnesota. Her other credentials include being a Certified Aging Services Professional (CASP) and a Certified Eden Alternative Associate.  Janel is married and the proud mother of an 11 year old.

Amanda Hollowell is an advocate and entrepreneur in the Savannah, Georgia community. Amanda Hollowell graduated from University of California at Berkeley where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Communication. Amanda has extensive years of experience in entrepreneurship, social media/marketing, event planning and community outreach. She is originally from California and has made Savannah, Georgia her home for the past nine years. She is an active advocate for organ donation and women’s rights; she also is a business owner, owning an event planning business and urban marketing startup company.

She has an extensive volunteer career, she is on the Board of Association for Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation and the Technology Chair, she is a standing member of the Savannah Black Heritage Festival Committee and Health Fair Coordinator, Board Member for Girls On The Run – Savannah, Member of the Savannah (GA) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated and Technology Chair, Board member of Georgia Shift, Graduate of the Georgia WIN List Leadership Academy 2015, Social Media Manager for Women Must Vote a grassroots organization in Savannah, GA and volunteer for Planned Parenthood of Coastal Georgia.

Amanda currently in a part time role Communications Director for Georgia’s WIN List and her full time job is an Education Specialist for LifeLink of Georgia. To date her greatest accomplishment is being the mother of her son, Joah Cash.


Kate Van Cantfort is originally from Milledgeville, Ga and currently calls the Athens, GA area her home. She is the owner of a new business in Athens, Lotta Mae’s Supply Company. The brick and mortar store is a modern day homestead mercantile – selling everything from organic chicken feed, high quality garden tools, seeds, canning supplies, and kitchen tools to locally crafted pottery, wood working, and metal work. The shop has a strong social justice ethic which is reflected in their purchasing and hiring practices and their contributions back to the community. Kate is a non-profit professional by training and experience. She is a co-founder of the GIVE Center for student service at GC&SU and is a Mercer University alumnus. Some of her earliest work was in training college students to be active citizens – engaging them in all aspects of civic life, from volunteering and voting to political education and organizing and civil disobedience training. She has attended training sessions at the fabled Highlander School in High Market, TN. She has trained activists in UT, CO, WY, VT, KS, and Georgia, and she has advocated/protested for anti-poverty issues, anti-war, LBGTQ rights, breastfeeding rights, environmental issues in the national parks, renewable energy, child and elder care protections, Black Lives Matter, and the Poor People’s Campaign, in addition to the Women’s March. She is currently actively supporting the Chalis Montgomery for Congress campaign.

As a single mother to a 10 year old girl and a female business owner Kate feels this time is particularly important for women to step up in ALL aspects of public and civic life to change to course of our nation.


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Posted in Digital Collections, Education, English, Film & Media, For Faculty, For Graduate Students, For Students, General News, History, Journalism, Oral Histories, Primary Resources, Research Guides, Sociology, Special Collections & Archives, Uncategorized, Videos, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Leave a comment

Jazz Appreciation Month Playlist


The National Museum of American History,

April is Jazz Appreciation Month. According to The National Museum of American History, “Jazz Appreciation Month (fondly known as “JAM”) was created right here at the museum in 2001 to recognize and celebrate the extraordinary heritage and history of jazz for the entire month of April. JAM is intended to stimulate and encourage people of all ages to participate in jazz – to study the music, attend concerts, listen to jazz on radio and recordings, read books about jazz, and more.”

GSU Library has an extensive collection for those wanting to learn more about jazz or listen to some of the classics. Here’s a playlist for the GSU community that includes some of the classic songs and artists of jazz as well as a few of the modern day artists to give you a musical journey of Jazz’s past, present, and future. Enjoy!

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Meet a Librarian: Laura Carscaddon

Who is Laura?

Laura is the Head of Research & Engagement, a division of the Library’s Public Services. In this role, she identifies directions for the department, advocates for resources, and makes connections in and outside the Library. She works closely with other department heads, particularly Tamika Barnes, the Department Head for Perimeter Library Services, to make sure the various units are working together.

She’s also the subject librarian for Computer Science & Computer Information Systems, and in the last year she’s been the interim librarian for the School of Public Health and part of the interim team for the Byrdine F. Lewis College of Nursing & Health Professions. For all these areas, she works with students and faculty on their research needs, through research-related instruction, research consultations and outreach to the departments. She also supports collections in these areas through the purchase of books as well as reviewing and recommending other resources, like databases, for the collection.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Did you always want to be a librarian and/or what got you started in libraries? 

Laura says:

Until I was about 7, what I really wanted to be when I grew up was a teenager.  At that time, it sounded like the best thing ever.

Laura started college as a pre-med biology major. After a rough first year, she switched her major to German before finally deciding on a degree in History. After college, she worked as an internal auditor, which is what brought her to Georgia. She realized after a few years that she didn’t like what she was doing, so she started thinking about aspects of previous jobs that she had liked: “I realized it was the research, teaching, and training pieces that I’d enjoyed, and that led me to libraries.”

What’s the longest road trip you’ve taken?

Laura is a Road Warrior! She has driven much of the way cross-country SOLO! TWICE! The first time was in 2007 when she moved from Youngstown, Ohio to Tucson, Arizona to start work at the University of Arizona. The second time was in 2010, moving from Tucson to Atlanta to start work at Georgia State. Going west, she drove across Oklahoma and Northern New Mexico; coming east, she traveled I-20 across Texas, which took more than 2 days of driving to get across.

Quick Facts About Laura…

Educational Background:
BA, History, Colby College, Waterville, ME, 1995
MS in Information Science, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 2004

First concert attended: Cyndi Lauper (opening act: The Bangles), 1984, Chattanooga, TN, age 12.

Pets: Cat named Velcro. “He’s named after his most obvious personality trait which is that he wants to be with people, preferably touching them, all the time.”

Pineapple on pizza: “No. That’s just wrong.”

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What’s in a textbook?

book cover

Cover of Biology by OpenStax. CCBYv4.0

Rice University might say freedom. Freedom to teach in new ways. Freedom to learn affordably. Since 2012, Rice University has been getting it right with textbooks. What are they doing that’s different? Rice is listening to faculty and students alike to create and maintain high quality textbooks to meet everyone’s needs. They’ve created no-cost, turnkey, adaptable textbooks with ancillary materials and affordable online homework options. Their textbooks are licensed with a Creative Commons attribution license which allows for sharing and content flexibility. Rice University calls their textbooks OpenStax.

OpenStax textbooks are:

  • High quality textbooks authored by educators. They are peer reviewed and meet scope and sequence requirements for each course.
  • Free to legally post online, free to adapt, free to share. They will always be free.
  • Available in print for a small fee or print your own…you are allowed.
  • In partnership with educational technology companies to provide affordable online homework, adaptive learning environments and other products that are aligned with OpenStax textbooks.

If you are looking for an open textbook for your course, try starting with OpenStax. Although OpenStax is growing, it currently offers only about 45 textbooks across subjects in math, science, social science, and the humanities. Hundreds of repositories with open textbooks exist. So if OpenStax doesn’t have the textbook you need, there’s a chance another repository will.

Learn more on the GSU Library’s Open Education Guide. Or, contact Denise Dimsdale, Affordable Learning Georgia Library Coordinator, at the GSU Library. The GSU Library is happy to assist instructors with locating open educational resources, library resources, and other course content that provide affordable options for students and pedagogical flexibility for instructors.

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Kay Cain, A Woman Photographing World War Two-era Atlanta

Kay Cain portrait, December 20, 1942

Kay Cain as a “Lady Lenser” in the Atlanta Constitution (December 20, 1942). The headline on this full-page feature was “Women Workers Replace Men in Many Vital Civilian Jobs.”

Memento from the Kay Cain Papers. Photos depicting the Southeastern Fair, held annually at Lakewood Fairgrounds, are in the Library’s Lane Brothers and AJC collections.

During 1942-44, when the U.S. was fighting in the Second World War, photographer Kay Cain shot feature and news photography for the Atlanta Constitution. This Women’s History Month, Ms. Cain’s story and her photographs and papers in Special Collections and Archives give us a glimpse of how life for women changed in the U.S. during that era.

Long after she left Atlanta, Kay Cain gave a collection of photos, papers, and clippings to her physician in San Jose, California. Records in the Ancestry Library Edition database show that Katherine Tolson Cain was born in Missouri in 1910 and died in 1996.  Now retired, the doctor contacted Georgia State University Library because he generously wanted the work of his patient and friend to be preserved with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Photo Archive.

United Community War Fund sign, Atlanta, circa 1943

World War Two Atlanta: the sign for the United Community War Fund covers the famous Coca-Cola sign. (Today the site is Margaret Mitchell Square, just north of the Law School and Aderhold). Photo by Kay Cain, published in Life Magazine (online access through the Library).

As a staff photographer, Kay Cain was often assigned to so-called “women’s topics,” such as fashion, children, charity events, and celebrities. Her photos show how the war touched Atlantans’ lives, depicting families of men serving overseas, veterans who had returned, and conservation efforts like rationing and paper drives. The Library provides access to the online archive of the Constitution and you can search her name to see more photos by her.

Kay Cain (right) and Jane Noland (left), pretending to wait outside a movie star’s hotel room for an interview, probably in 1943. Constitution colleague H. J. Slayton took the photo; another shot is below.

Sometimes she worked with reporter Jane Noland. The collection contains Noland’s manuscripts for a humorous column she proposed, about the two women “forced into the newspaper business by the [wartime] manpower shortage.” In fact, Noland was a talented reporter who later worked for United Press International and Cain had reported for her hometown newspaper in Missouri. So perhaps Noland was being ironic, or perhaps she knew her audience’s assumptions, when she wrote that they were “forced” into journalism. The photo of the pair was staged for this column. (Note the large bag Cain had to carry on assignments, stuffed with film holders and flashbulbs. The camera needed to be reloaded after two shots and each bulb only worked once).

Famed photographer Margaret Bourke-White (seated) inscribing a portrait for Bessie Callaway, another pioneering photojournalist at the Constitution. Bourke-White visited in March 1944 and lectured about her experiences as the first American woman to serve as a war correspondent. Photo by Kay Cain.

The collection contains other hints about how the war changed the lives of women in the news industry. American women such as Margaret Bourke-White and Dorothea Lange had excelled in photojournalism and documentary photography before the war. But, just as “Rosie the Riveter” famously entered wartime industrial work, so the roles for women already in the workforce changed. The clipping above shows that Cain’s staff position seemed newsworthy, and other clippings show that she was assigned to topics that men would have been a few years earlier, including political events and disasters. (The Constitution’s first woman photographer, hired in 1940, was Carolyn McKenzie Carter; you can see some of her work in the Library’s Digital Collections.)  The whole feature about women in the workplace is in the online Constitution archive, and you search the archive for more contemporary coverage of Atlanta women.

Kay Cain’s last photo appeared in the Constitution in April 1944. She does not appear in the 1945 Atlanta city directory and may have moved away by then. According to her doctor’s recollection, Kay Cain later worked as a Montessori school teacher and numerologist in California. Unfortunately, we can’t tell from the collection or his memories whether she continued her photography work.

The Kay Cain photos complement both the AJC photo archive and the Library’s Lane Brothers Collection of Atlanta photos. Like those collections, they provide a look at life in Atlanta during the Second World War (here are more examples from the Lane Brothers), and a view of how society-wide changes due to the war effort affected gender roles.Kay Cain and Jane Noland, 1943


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Posted in Digital Collections, History, Journalism, Primary Resources, Special Collections & Archives, Subject Areas, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Teaching with Primary Sources: Using Comic Books to Teach Social Commentary and Representation

Black Panther in Fantastic Four #241

Given the popularity of the new Black Panther film, Kevin Fleming, Popular Music and Culture Archivist, and Jill Anderson, History/African-American Studies/Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Librarian, are offering the workshop “Teaching with Primary Sources: Using Comic Books to Teach Social Commentary and Representation” for faculty and graduate students.

This workshop will be held on Friday, April 13th 2018, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., and will take place in the Colloquium Room, Library South 8, on the downtown Atlanta campus.

EDIT: The original workshop (scheduled for Thursday, April 5th from 1:00 p.m. to 3:oo p.m.) was cancelled and rescheduled for April the 13th. 

In this hands-on workshop, attendees will be the “students” for exercises utilizing comic books from the Special Collections and Archives’ Popular Culture Literature Collection and other related primary sources. The exercise will be followed by discussion and brainstorming on other creative ways to use these resources for teaching.

This workshop is a follow-up to Jill and Kevin’s 2017 workshops on teaching with comic books (“Teaching with Primary Sources: Popular Culture and Pulp” and “Teaching with Primary sources: Comic Books and Context,”) but is a stand-alone workshop that includes new activities. Prior attendance at their previous workshops is not at all necessary.

Register for the workshop here.

Want to know more? Contact Jill Anderson or Kevin Fleming with questions.

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Posted in African American Studies, Art & Design, Books, Communication, Digital Collections, Education, English, Film & Media, For Faculty, For Graduate Students, General News, History, Instruction, Philosophy, Resources, Special Collections & Archives, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Leave a comment

Finalists for the Spring 2018 Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition have been selected

Finalists for the Spring 2018 Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition at Georgia State University have been selected.

During the initial round, held in the CURVE at the University Library, 24 graduate students delivered their three-minute thesis talks. Twelve students made it through to the final round.

Finalists include:

Doctoral Finalists

Ciera Lewis, Clinical-Community Psychology

Saskia Verkiel, Neuroscience/Neuroethics

Brandis Ansley, Education of Students with Exceptionalities

Samantha Emerson, Psychology

Natasha Johnson, Educational Leadership

Stacy Buchanan, Doctor of Nursing Practice

Masters Finalists

Neil Fleming, Gerontology

Kirk Gibson, Social Work

Liping Mou, Public Health

Amin Bayat Barooni, Physics Education Research

Joncel Stephens, Epidemiology

Leesi Barinem, Geosciences: Geography

3MT is designed to cultivate students’ academic, presentation, and research communication skills.  Presenting in a 3MT competition increases student capacity to effectively explain their research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.  The competition forces students to consolidate their ideas and concisely explain their research discoveries.

The final round will be held at 5 p.m. on Monday, March 26 in the Centennial Hall Auditorium at 100 Auburn Ave., N.E

Congratulations to all finalists!

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition at Georgia State University is sponsored by the Office of the Associate Provost for Graduate Programs and the University Library.

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Journal Cancellation Project

Dear Members of the Georgia State University Community,

We need your assistance as the Library undertakes the unpleasant but necessary task of trimming the journal collection to reflect current budget realities. We face the twin, ongoing, and cumulative pressures of flat or reduced budgets and year-over-year increases in the cost of library materials (about 5% per year). Our collection development team has carefully analyzed cost and usage data to arrive at the list of titles slated for cancellation. By cancelling these titles, we will be able to retain access next year to those titles and databases most central to the University’s teaching and research mission, while also maintaining a modest budget for the purchase of academic monographs and other non-subscription resources.

The academic journal market is highly problematic. Large commercial publishers continue to profit from the faculty research that they package and sell back to us through the academic library market. To learn more, see SPARC’s succinct description of the issues.

Journal cancellation form loginYou will find the list of titles slated for cancellation, effective January 2019, on the project webpage. If you have a concern about a specific title on the list, please enter your comments on the form for that title. The comment form is available from March 19th – May 1st.

We value any comments that provide specific justification for retention of the title, such as its use in a specific course or in your research. If you have any questions about the journal cancellation process, please contact your liaison librarian or Skye Hardesty, department head for collection development.

The Georgia State University Library is committed to supporting the information needs of our students, faculty, and staff. We stretch our collection dollars through our participation in the GALILEO program. We offer exceptional resource sharing services and will endeavor to get you whatever you need for your research through interlibrary loan or GIL Express.

We appreciate your feedback, understanding, and support.

Jeff Steely
Dean of Libraries

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