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Walter E. Fauntroy papers, part 1

 Collection
Identifier: MS2070

Collection Scope and Content

This collection contains correspondence, news releases, booklets, articles, brochures, statements, meeting files, briefing books, memorabilia, newsletters, photographs, negatives, slides, bills, and hearing files. These materials date from 1941-90 with the bulk of the records falling between 1960-90.

This collection of materials was generated during thirty-nine years of community, religious and political service. Fauntroy was an advocate of civil and political rights. A former congressman, Fauntroy served the people of the District of Columbia through various roles. Since 1959, Fauntroy has been the pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church. His exceptional leadership in community affairs led Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), to appoint Fauntroy as the director of the Washington D.C. Bureau of SCLC. Through this position, he served as the coordinator of various historic events associated with the organization such as the 1963 March On Washington for Jobs and Freedom and the 1965 March from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

Fauntroy was the first vice chairman appointed to the Washington D.C. City Council. After years of promoting voting rights and representation for citizens of the District, Fauntroy served as the representative of Washington, D.C. in the United States Congress for twenty years. He was an advocate of urban renewal in the District of Columbia, and was a founder and director of the Shaw Urban Renewal Project and the Model Inner City Community Organization (MICCO).

By donating his papers to GWU, Fauntroy has enabled decades of community service through a collaboration of religious, civil and political activity to be treasured, researched and used for various educational purposes.

Fauntroy did not place any restrictions on the use of his papers. All rights and interests were transferred to the Department of Special Collections. In 1998, GWU retained The History Factory to organize, preserve and describe a select portion of his papers in anticipation of using some of the materials in the Library's exhibit on the 35th Anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington.

Dates

  • 1941-1990

Creator

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research.

Restrictions on Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Biographical Note

Walter E. Fauntroy was born in Washington, D.C. on February 6, 1933. He graduated from Dunbar High School in 1952 and received his Bachelor of Arts from Virginia Union University in 1955. He earned a bachelor of divinity from Yale University Divinity School in 1958. In 1959, he began his career in public service through his appointment as pastor of his childhood church, New Bethel Baptist Church.

An advocate of civil rights, Fauntroy served as a leader in the civil rights movement. In 1960, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), appointed Fauntroy director of the Washington Bureau of SCLC. He remained in that position until 1971. As a director of SCLC, Fauntroy coordinated many historic events, including events leading up to the August 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and the 1965 March from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. In 1968, he served as the national coordinator of the Poor People's Campaign.

Fauntroy utilized his civil rights experience to promote urban redevelopment within the District of Columbia. He founded and served as the director of the Shaw Urban Renewal Project, and along with other Washington ministers, founded the Model Inner City Community Organization (MICCO), a neighborhood planning corporation. Fauntroy's active community involvement led to his first political position as the first vice chairman appointed to the District of Columbia Council in 1967. In 1969, Fauntroy resigned from the D.C. Council in order to focus more attention toward MICCO. Fauntroy's community service efforts and promotion of civil rights led him to work towards achieving rights for District residents. He became a vocal advocate for voting rights and representation within the District.

In 1970, Congress passed the Delegate Act enabling citizens of Washington D.C. to have representation in the United States House of Representatives. Subsequently in 1971, D.C residents elected Fauntroy to represent the District. Strongly supporting the right for full representation of the District, Fauntroy immediately began a legislative campaign in support of home rule. As a result, in 1973 the District of Columbia Self-government and Government Reorganization Act became law. D.C. citizens were given the authority to elect a mayor and a city council. Fauntroy served in Congress for twenty years (1971-1991). He worked on many committees such as the Committee on the District of Columbia, the Committee Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs, the Committee on Banking, Currency and Housing, and the Committee on Banking and Currency. He also was part of the select committees on Assassinations, Narcotics and Control. He was a member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Democratic National Congressional Committee, and the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).

During his tenure in Congress, Fauntroy chaired several committees, such as the District of Columbia Committee's Subcommittee on Fiscal Affairs. While serving on the Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs, he chaired the Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and International Finance, Trade and Monetary Policy as well as a number of other subcommittees. He also served as the chairman for the CBC. Fauntroy utilized these committees to establish legislation in support of statehood for the District of Columbia. He founded the National Black Leadership Roundtable (NBLR), a network created under the auspicious of the CBC, in support of domestic leadership. The "Free South Africa Movement" (FSAM) and the Congressional Task Force on Haiti serve as examples of Fauntroy's active involvement in international affairs. Under the direction of Fauntroy, NBLR developed and published The Black Leadership Family Plan for the Unity, Survival and Progress of Black People, and the Congressional Task Force on Haiti created United States policies that supported democracy, human rights promotion and economic development in Haiti.

The D.C. community has recognized and honored Fauntroy for his exemplary service. His alma maters awarded him with honorary doctor of divinity degrees. He received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Georgetown University Law Center for his leadership bringing the right to vote to the citizens of the District of Columbia. After delivering the Charter Day Convocation speech at Howard University in 1988, he was awarded the university's doctor of laws degree.

Extent

30 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Collection contains correspondence, news releases, booklets, articles, brochures, statements, meeting files, briefing books, memorabilia, newsletters, photographs, negatives, slides, bills, and hearing files documenting the life and activities of civil rights activist Walter F. Fauntroy. These materials date from 1941-90 with the bulk of the records falling between 1960-90.

Collection Organization

Organized in six series: General files, Affiliations and organization files, Campaign files, Congressional committee files, New Bethel Baptist Church files, and Oversize files.

Acquisition Information

In 1990, Walter E. Fauntroy donated his papers to The George Washington University Gelman Library.
Title
Guide to the Walter E. Fauntroy papers, 1941-1990
Status
Partially Processed
Author
Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University
Date
2006
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University Repository

Contact:
2130 H Street NW
Washington 20052 United States of America