1 Reply Latest reply on Jul 29, 2020 2:27 PM by Cara Jensen

    Seeking records of Lovett Fort-Whiteman

    Sean Guillory Newbie

      I'm making an audio documentary on African Americans, the Soviet Union, and communism in the 1920s and 1930s told through the life of Lovett Fort-Whiteman. Fort-Whiteman was an early Black member of the American Communist Party and, as far as we know, was the only Black American victim in Stalin's terror.  I would be interested in talking to anyone who had relatives involved in the American Communist Party or traveled to the Soviet Union as well as any documents about their experiences.

       

      Fort-Whiteman was a native of Dallas, TX and son of Moses Whiteman, a former enslaved person in Louisiana or South Carolina (the information I have is contradictory). I would also be curious if anyone can give any advice on how to find documents about Moses' enslavement and/or documents that would help me illuminate Fort-Whiteman's childhood. He was born on December 3, 1889 in Dallas and his childhood home was at 408 Flora St. Dallas, TX. Thank you

        • Re: Seeking records of Lovett Fort-Whiteman
          Cara Jensen Scout

          Dear Mr. Guillory,

           

          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

           

          We searched the National Archives Catalog and located 21 Population Schedules in the Records of the Bureau of the Census (Record Group 29) that would include records of Lovett Fort-Whiteman and his family.  Some of the schedules have been digitized in part or whole (for 1940 only). For access to the non-digitized schedules, please contact the National Archives at Washington, DC - Textual Reference (RDT1) via email at archives1reference@nara.gov

           

          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT1. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.

          For information about the U.S. Census, see the Census Bureau technical documentation and questionnaires.

           

          You may wish to search Ancestry.com for the U.S. Census. There may be a fee for using Ancestry. Instead, some of the images from Ancestry are available for free on Family Search or at your local library. Many library systems subscribe to these sites, making them free for their patrons.

           

          We suggest that you review the National Archives African American Research website, the FamilySearch research wiki on African American Resources for South Carolina and Louisiana as well as the document Federal Records that Help Identify Former Slaves and Slave Owners.

           

          We searched the National Archives Catalog and located 9 file units within the series Classification 100 (Domestic Security) Case Files, 1939 - 1984 in the Records of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (Record Group 65) that may include records on the FBI’s declassified report "The Communist Party and the Negro, 1919 - 1953". For access to these records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov

           

          If you wish to request the entire FBI report on "The Communist Party and the Negro, 1919 - 1953", we suggest you review NARA’s page on Accessing Federal Bureau of Investigation Records (RG 65)

           

          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT2. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.

          We searched HathiTrust catalog and found the book American Communism and Soviet Russia : the formative period by Theodore Draper which has a chapter on "The Negro Question" on page 315 which you may find helpful.

           

          We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!