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Vivian Wilson Henderson Papers
128 linear feet
Vivian Wilson Henderson (b. 1923 d.1976) nationally recognized economist, educator, and civil rights leader, served as the 18th President of Clark College (now Clark Atlanta University) from 1965 until his death in 1976. Clark College named the Vivian W. Henderson Health and Physical Education Center in his honor in 1978. Henderson received a bachelor's degree in economics from North Carolina College and his master's and doctorate degrees from University of Iowa. He was one of the few Blacks to hold a doctoral degree in economics during that time. Henderson began his career teaching briefly at Prairie View A & M College, Prairie View, Texas, and at North Carolina College in Durham (now North Carolina Central University). He accepted an appointment at Fisk University in 1952 and worked there until 1965 holding several positions including professor of economics, Chairman of the Department of Business Administration and Economics, Director of the Summer Sessions, and Acting Director for the Race Relations Department. From 1962-1964 he was a visiting scholar of economics at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. Henderson did extensive research and authored numerous works including The Economic Imbalance, Economic Dimensions in Race Relations, Economic Opportunity and Negro Education, The Economic Status of Negroes, The Advancing South, Employment Race and Poverty, and Negro Colleges Face the Future. Dr. Henderson was involved in numerous civic, community, and civil rights organizations and was highly sought after to serve on local, state, regional, national, and international government and corporate committees, commissions, task forces, and boards.
The Vivian Wilson Henderson Papers document his life and career and include family, personal, and business correspondence, reports, minutes, speeches, writings by him and others, photographs, honors, awards, audio and video tapes. There are teaching materials and administrative files from his career at Fisk University. The Clark College files include correspondence, reports, printed materials, and documentation on campus events. There are research notes for his books and articles, drafts and typescripts of speeches and writings by him and others. The largest groups of materials document his involvement with organizations and events such as the White House Conference "To Fulfill These Rights", the National Advisory Commission on Rural Poverty, the Commission on the Future of the South, Tennessee and Georgia's Advisory Committee on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Governor Jimmy Carter's Goal for Georgia Program, Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson's Atlanta Reorganization Task Force, the National Urban Coalition, Southern Regional Council, Ford Foundation, and Bendix Corporation.