Sam Reed and the Trumpet of Conscience

Collection documenting the life and work of activist and organizer, Sam Reed, and the organization he founded, the Trumpet of Conscience, 1987-2000.

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About the Digital Collection

The digital collection, Sam Reed and the Trumpet of Conscience, documents and contextualizes the life and work of activist and organizer, Sam Reed, and the organization and publication, the Trumpet of Conscience (TOC) he founded in Durham, N.C. The TOC newsletter and organization were established in 1987 and disbanded in 2000 following Reed's death at the age of 93. The group's mission was "To come together, to listen to oneanother, to strive toward reducing and eliminating the root causes of crime and divisiveness in our midst." Organization was open to all and attracted active involvement from numerous Duke University and North Carolina Central University faculty, as well as local Durham residents. According to William Willimon, former Dean of Duke Chapel, Duke and Durham's Martin Luther King Day celebrations were established, in large part, because of Reed's efforts. Collected by Lois Deloatch, G'08, the Sam Reed and the Trumpet of Conscience digital collection includes newsletters, planning documents, photographs, awards, speeches, transcripts of interviews, and a videotape of Reed.

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Source Collection

This digital collection comprises selected materials from the following archival collection at David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library:

Sam Reed papers 1973-2001 and undated

Collection #RL.01075 | 2.0 Linear Feet; 3 boxes; Approximately 700 Items

Collection pertains to Reed's political and community activism, the civil rights movement, and race and labor relations issues in the South. Consists of the records of the Durham, N.C. organization founded by Reed, Trumpet of Conscience, and a run of the newsletter of the same name, 1987-2000. Other papers include correspondence, chiefly to Reed; photographs; obituaries, interviews, speeches, and new articles by and about Sam Reed; fliers, invitations, and other items stemming from community events; and awards. Topics covered or touched on by these materials include the history of race relations in Durham, N.C.; Durham politics; activism in North Carolina and Durham; the involvement of Duke University and North Carolina Central students, faculty, and administration in local events; labor issues and unions; and, more generally, human rights issues in the South. A selection of materials from the collection have been digitized and are available in Duke Digital Collections. Acquired by the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture.

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