William Odom Collection

Information about the Collection
This collection includes documents related to the Prince Edward County school situation dating from 1968-1969. The bulk of the collection includes correspondence between Hampden-Sydney faculty member William Odom and Prince Edward County School Board members in regard to Burwell Robinson, a 1967 Hampden-Sydney graduate. Hired to teach at the Robert Russa Moton High School in 1968, Robinson’s contract was not renewed for the following year resulting in a firestorm of controversy. The correspondence begins with a recommendation for Mr. Robinson in 1968 and ends with his termination in the spring of 1969. Other documents are interspersed with the letters and a few photographs and newspaper clippings are included in the collection.

‚ÄčThis collection was sent to Mrs. Grace Simpson in Hampden-Sydney by Carol and Bill Odom of Annandale, Virginia in September 1998. Susan Bagby delivered the materials to the library on behalf of the Odom’s in summer of 2000.

Scope and Content
Included in this collection are letter, documents, newspaper articles, and photographs dating from 1968-1969.

This collection consists of (1) linear foot contained in (1) flat archival box.

There are no restrictions to access or use for research purposes.

Contents of the Collection

   Folder 1

Letter to Mr. Doswell from William Odom, February 21, 1969

Letter to William Odom from W. Lester Banks (NAACP), September 4, 1968

Letter to W.T. Reveley from W. Lester Banks, September 4, 1968

Document written fall 1968, entitled “Community Action Group Seeks Preschool Program, Call for Volunteers

Document (one page) entitled “Newsletter from the Prince Edward School Advisory Committee,” dated October 12, 1968

Letter from Francis Griffin to Ray A. Moore, Jr., January 31, 1969.

Letter to Prince Edward School Advisory Committee from William Odom, March 7, 1969

Letter to William Odom from Francis Griffin, March 1969

Letter to William Odom from Francis Griffin, March 25, 1969

Letter to school patrons of the Hampden District from William Odom, March 25, 1969

Letter to Burwell Robinson from Bryant R. Harper, April 15, 1969

Letter (original and copy) to the editor of The Hampden-Sydney Tiger, signed by Hampden-Sydney faculty and administrators, April 23, 1969

Copy of letter published in H-S newspaper, includes letter written by Gordon Moss, Dean of Longwood College

Article, “Board Fires Teacher at Moton: Disrupting Influence Cited; 300 Pupils Sit In Again,” Richmond Times-Dispatch, April 23, 1969

Article by Guy Friddell, “Light in the Dark: Farmville’s Two Colleges,” The Virginia Pilot, April 28, 1969

Article, “For Schools: State to Name New Head,” Farmville Herald, May 2, 1969

Letter to Burwell Robinson form Prince Edward Superintendent Bryant Harper, May 5, 1969

Letter to Boyd Bosma, Coordinator of Civil Liberties, from Burwell Robinson, May 6, 1969

Letter (original and copy) to The Hampden-Sydney Tiger, from faculty of administrators of Hampden-Sydney College, May 7, 1969

Article, “Reply to School Board Statement,” Farmville Herald, May 14, 1969

Letter to Prince Edward County School Superintendent from Burwell Robinson, Jr., May 14, 1969

Article, “Rehire Mr. Robinson: A Fresh Start in Farmville,” The Virginia Pilot, May 15, 1969

Letter to Bryant Harper form Burwell Robinson, May 16, 1969

Letter to Burwell Robinson from Bryant Harper, May 17, 1969

Article, “Dismissed Teacher Called Scapegoat of Racial Problems in Prince Edward,” Roanoke Times, May 22, 1969

Article, “UVA Professor is Offered Prince Edward School Post,” Roanoke Times, May 22, 1969

Letter to Carol Odom from Gordon Moss, May 19, 1969

Article, “Heart and Horse Sense,” Virginia Pilot, May 22, 1969

Letter to Burwell Robinson from Bryant Harper, May 24, 1969

   Folder 2

Article, “This is Your Chance,” The Hampden-Sydney Tiger, February 10, 1967

Article, “Community Action Group Seeks Preschool Program Volunteers,” Farmville Herald, fall 1968

Article, “School Board’s Action on Alternate School Building Plan,” Farmville Herald, July 17, 1968

Article, “School Patrons Select Education Advisory Group,” Farmville Herald, September 27, 1968

Article, “Presidential Candidates,” (editorial), Farmville Herald, October 18, 1968

Article, “Tuition-Aid Case Heard By U.S. Court,” Richmond Times-Dispatch, January 24, 1969

Article, “Poverty Agency Endorsed,” Farmville Herald, January 3, 1969

Article, “Darden Urges Virginia Plan for Funding Private Schools,” Richmond Times-Dispatch, February 22, 1969

Article, “Virginia’s Public Schools,” Richmond Times-Dispatch, February 26, 1969

Article, “Mississippi Grants to Schools Barred,” January 31, 1969

Article, “Freedom and Quality,” Farmville Herald, February 28, 1969

Article, “Another Union Election,” Farmville Herald, March 14, 1969

Article, “Light in the Dark: Farmville’s Two Colleges”

Article, “Prince Edward Declines to Reappoint School Chief”

Article, “The Great Society,” Farmville Herald

Article, “NAACP Maps Drive to Add 100,000 Voters”

Article, “Negro Voter Drive Set to Start on Labor Day”

   Folder 3

Article, “The Lost Years,” Look Magazine, November 29, 1966

Article, “Prince Edward County: Back Where They Started,” Susan Jacoby, Washington Post Potomac Magazine, March 24, 1968

Article, “No Catching Up: Black Students in Prince Edward County Remain Victims of School Closing in 1959,” The Afro-American, March 22, 1969

   Folder 4

Articles reprinted in October 1998 issues of The Farmville Herald. Original publication dates listed with title of article.

Article, “Dorn Blasts Civil Rights Plans; Say Constitutional Government Imperiled,” January 29, 1948

Article, “State Rights Group Organize 4th District for Thurmond-Wright,” October 8, 1948

   Folder 5

(7) page document read at the Prince Edward County School Board Meeting, April 1969, expressing dissatisfaction with decisions made by members of the Prince Edward School Board. The document is not dated or signed by the author.

Listing of names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the members of the Prince Edward County School Board.  

   Folder 6

(1) Photograph, 5”x7”, b&w, schoolchildren playing. Inscribed on back: “Frances was so good with the children.”       

(1) Photograph, 5”x7”, b&w, schoolchildren standing with arms outstretched. Inscribed on back: “Sooo tall.”

(1) Photograph, 5”x7”, b&w, schoolchildren looking at camera, one with a basket on his head.

(1) Photograph, 5”x7”, b&w, child painting, another child fastening a painter’s smock.

(1) Photograph, 5”x7”, b&w, child sitting, another child standing with purse. Inscribed on back: “Dress Up.”

(1) Photograph, 5”x7”, b&w, schoolchildren and teachers.

(1) Photograph, 5”x7”, b&w, teacher and schoolchildren crouching on floor. Inscribed on back: “Sooo Small.”

(1) Photograph, 3.5”x3.5”, color, schoolchild painting.

(1) Photograph, 3.5”x3.5”, color, teacher reading to schoolchildren.

(1) Photograph, 5”x3.5”, b&w, Mrs. Graves Thomas, music teacher.

(1) Photograph, 5”x3.5”, b&w, women and children eating at table.

(1) Photograph, 3.5”x3.5”, color, children seated around table

(1) Photograph, 3.5”x3.5”, color, child painting

(1) Photograph, 5”x3.5”, b&w, children with seedlings in paper cups.

   Folder 7

Petitions to Prince Edward County School Board (x2)

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Archives and Records Specialist

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Jamie Krogh
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