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T. J. Reddy Papers

Filing title: 
Reddy (T. J.) Papers

T. J. Reddy papers
MS0079

Summary Information

Repository
J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections, UNC Charlotte
Creator
Reddy, T. J., 1945-
Title
T. J. Reddy papers
ID
MS0079
Date [bulk]
Bulk, 1971-1978
Date [inclusive]
1967-1985
Extent
3.0 Linear feet ca. 5,400 items
Language
English
Abstract
Papers of a Charlotte artist, poet, civil rights activist, and UNC Charlotte alumnus, highlighting his role as one of the Charlotte Three and his interest in the civil rights movement. Consists primarily of correspondence, legal documents, and other material concerning his controversial arrest, trial and conviction for arson; subsequent legal proceedings; and the activities of the North Carolina Political Prisoners' Committee. Also includes files on the Wilmington Ten, the North Carolina Prisoners' Labor Union, the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice, and periodicals and monographs published by left-wing and civil rights groups.

Preferred Citation note

T. J. Reddy Papers. J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

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Biographical/Historical note

Thomas James "T. J." Reddy was born in Savannah, Ga. on August 8, 1945. His family moved to New York City when he was 14, where he attended Boys High School (1959-63). In 1964, he enrolled in Johnson C. Smith University. Reddy transferred to UNC Charlotte in 1967, where he received a B.A. in History and Sociology (1974) and a Masters in Education (1977). While at UNC Charlotte, Reddy was a poetry consultant and associate editor of Three, an arts magazine, and he won the LeGette Blythe Creative Writing Award (1969). He was instrumental in the formation of the Black Student Union and of the African and Afro-American Studies Department at UNC Charlotte. Reddy became active politically in the civil rights movement soon after his arrival in Charlotte. He participated in the protest against the Vietnam War and, in particular, against the government's plan to heighten recruiting efforts in the black community, by distributing anti-draft leaflets. He protested segregation and denial of equal treatment to blacks, and he worked with action programs directly benefitting the black community. From 1967 to 1969, Reddy worked as the resident manager, then as project director, of Charlotte Urban Ministry's Tenth Street Community Youth Center. Reddy also became an accomplished and versatile artist, poet, and dramatist. From 1969 to 1972 he wrote for The Charlotte Observer. He also worked with the North Carolina Cultural Arts Coalition (1978-79), the Afro-American Cultural Center in Charlotte (1979), and as a free-lance artist (1980-81). Since 1982, Reddy has been owner and operator of the Ready Art Shoppe in Charlotte. Reddy's poetry has been included in several publications, including the Red Clay Reader (1969), Southern Poetry Review (1970), A Galaxy of Black Writing (1971), The Hyperion Journal (1975), Miscellany (1974),and Eleven Charlotte Poets (1971). Two books of his poetry have been published: Less Than a Score, But a Point (1974) and Poems in One Part Harmony (1979). Reddy's graphic artwork has been displayed throughout North Carolina; and Reddy has served as consultant and coordinator of many art publications and curricula, as co-editor of Aim, A Community Arts publication (1970); and as co-author and co-director of "The Highlights of our Heritage," a presentation of African history at Johnson C. Smith University (1971). He has received the Kwanja Award for Creativity (1978) and the North Carolina Conference of Black Studies Service Award. Reddy married Vicky Minar of Charlotte in 1968. They have one daughter and reside in Charlotte. In October, 1967, T. J. Reddy, Charles Parker (resident manager, 10th Street Community Youth Center), and two others were denied the right to ride at the Lazy B Stables because of their race. When they returned with friends and the news media and demanded to ride, Parker was allowed to ride for a few minutes. On September 24, 1968, the Lazy B Stables burned, killing fifteen horses. In January, 1972, Reddy, Parker, and James Grant (civil rights activist and VISTA worker) were indicted for the burning of the stables. At the time of his arrest, Grant was also under indictment with the Rev. Ben Chavis for conspiring to smuggle two men out of the country following racial unrest in Oxford, N.C. The trial of the Charlotte Three occurred in July, 1972, with James E. Ferguson II as the defense attorney. Grant, Reddy, and Parker were convicted and sentenced to 25, 20, and 10 years respectively. Although the defense contended the testimonies of the key witnesses conflicted and the jury of eleven whites and one black was unfair, the convictions were upheld by both the state's Court of Appeals and Supreme Court. In March, 1974, The Charlotte Observer revealed the state's two key witnesses, Walter David Washington and Theodore Alfred Hood - both facing criminal charges themselves - were given secret payments, granted immunity, and placed in protective custody. The defense filed a motioon in July, 1974, requesting a new trial in Mecklenburg Superior Court, and Reddy was released from jail on bond. An evidentiary hearing before Judge Sam Ervin III in December, 1974, resulted in his denial, in September, 1975, of a new trial. Appeals to the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and the U. S. Supreme Court were all denied, and in October, 1978, Reddy returned to jail. In July, 1979, Governor Jim Hunt commuted the sentences of the Charlotte Three, and Reddy was released on paroled. The case of the Charlotte Three received national attention because of the defendants' contention that the convictions were politically motivated, which had the support of Amnesty International. Locally, the North Carolina Political Prisoners' Committee provided financial and legal support for the Charlotte Three. Additional support came from the North Carolina Civil Liberties Union and the Angela Davis National Committee to Free All Political Prisoners.

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Scope and Contents note

This collection of papers documents the arrest, conviction, subsequent hearings and appeals, and the related efforts of support groups, primarily the North Carolina Political Prisoners' Committee. Also contains material from the same time period documenting Reddy's interests and activities related to the civil rights movement.

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Arrangement note

Organized into two subgroups, therein by series : Subgroup 1. Charlotte Three material : divided into six series : I. Legal documents, 1972- 1977. II. Correspondence and ephemera, 1972-1978. III. Letters of support, 1972-1978. IV. Printed material, 1967-1979. V. Robert W. Rieke correspondence, 1968-1976. VI. Biographical/professional material, 1982-1985. Subgroup 2. Civil rights issues, general : divided into seven series : I. N.C. Prisoners' labor union, 1972-1977. II. National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, 1972-1976. III. United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice, 1972-1977. IV. Southern Conference Educational Fund, 1971-1977. V. Wilmington 10, 1972-1977. VI. Miscellaneous material, 1972-1976. VII. Publications, 1971-1978 : divided into two subseries : 1. Periodicals, 1971- 1978, arranged alphabetically by title.|a2. Monographs, 1971-1977, arranged alphabetically by title.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections, UNC Charlotte 2003

9201 University City Blvd.
Charlotte, NC, 28223
704-687-1170
spec-coll@uncc.edu

Legal Status note

Copyright not held by UNC Charlotte Library

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use note

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.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Gift of T. J. Reddy, 1982. Gift of Robert W. Rieke, 1985.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

American New Left Collection (Mss 68), Charlotte Alternative Press Collection (Mss 78), Alice Lindsay Tate Papers (Mss 75)

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Controlled Access Headings

Personal Name(s)

  • Reddy, T. J., 1945-

Subject(s)

  • Civil rights--North Carolina--Charlotte
  • Trials (Arson)--North Carolina
  • Trials (Conspiracy)--North Carolina

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Collection Inventory

Charlotte Three Material 1967-1985

Scope and Contents note

This series contains material related to the Charlotte Three's arrest, trial, conviction, and subsequent legal proceedings, and to the work of the North Carolina Political Prisoners' Committee (NCPPC) in their efforts to provide financial and legal support. Consists largely of clippings (Subseries 4) but also contains legal documents (Subseries 1), correspondence to and from members of NCPPC (formed in 1972 to raise legal defense and bail bond monies for the Charlotte Three and other political prisoners in North Carolina) concerning support for the Charlotte Three (Subseries 2), and letters of support to North Carolina governors Holshouser and Hunt and to other officials on behalf of the Charlotte Three (Subseries 3).

Legal Documents 1972-1977

Scope and Contents note

This subseries is comprised primarily of copies of dockets filed with the court relating to motions for a new trial, appeal to the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and appeal for pardon to North Carolina Governor James B. Hunt, Jr. Includes a copy (1972) of the U. S. Constitution containing marked passages apparently designating areas in which the defense contends the rights of the Charlotte Three were violated.

Box
1
Folder
1

Correspondence and Ephemera 1972-1979

Scope and Contents note

This subseries contains correspondence to and from members of NCPPC relating to support of the Charlotte Three; and flyers, news releases and near-print items distributed by the NCPPC and other proponents for the Charlotte Three.

Ephemeral material includes flyers advertising rallies on behalf of the Charlotte Three and handouts describing their arrest, trial, and conviction.

Correspondence and Ephemera 1972-1979

Scope and Contents note

Correspondents include poet Denise Levertov (1-15-72, 4-29-73); authors Harriet Doar (10-29-72) and Harry Golden (8-1-72); U. S. Senators Sam J. Ervin Jr. of North Carolina (8-14-72, 6-22, 8-29-73) and John Conyers of Michigan (6-7-73); North Carolina Governor James Holshouser (6-22-73); religious leaders W. W. Finlator (7-6, 11-2-73, 11-5-74) and Carlyle Marney (8-25-72); Julian Bond of the Georgia House of Representatives (10-9-72); and members of other civil rights support organizations, including Amnesty International and the North Carolina Civil Liberties Union.

Box
1
Folder
2-3

Correspondence and Ephemera undated

Box
1
Folder
4-5

Correspondence and Ephemera - Oversize Material

Scope and Contents note

Includes "Repression in North Carolina: The Lazy B Stables Case," (published by NCPPC, n.d.) which gives information on the case and biographical sketches of Reddy, Parker, and Grant.

Box
OF
Folder
8

Letters of support 1972-1978

Scope and Contents note

This subseries is comprised primarily of letters to and acknowledgements from North Carolina governors Holshouser and Hunt; North Carolina General Assembly members Richardson Preyer, Tom Gilmore, David Jordon, and McNeill Smith; state attorney general Robert Morgan; and other public officials urging review of the Charlotte Three's sentences. Includes letters from columnist Colman McCarthy (3-5-74); Harriet Doar (3-2-74); W. W. Finlator (10-13-78); Denise Levertov (12-12-77); Julian Bond (2-20-74); from the governor of Connecticut, Thomas Meskill (7-11-74), with a resolution from the Hartford City Council, and from Hartford Mayor George Athanson (11-1-74), with a letter from William R. Cotter, U. S. Representative from Connecticut, urging clemency for Frant; petition for pardon (12-16-77) endorsed by U. S. Representatives William R. Cotter, Toby Moffett, Frank Thompson, Jr., Michael Harington, Bill Frenzel, Don Edwards, David E. Bonior, Robert Drinan, John Conyers Jr., Geroge Miller, and Frederick W. Richmond; and a resolution from the Charlotte City Council (11/1978) requesting that Hunt review the case.

Box
1
Folder
6-7

Printed Material 1967-1979

Scope and Contents note

This subseries is comprised primarily of newspaper clippings about the Charlotte Three's arrest, conviction, subsequent proceedings, and other circumstances relating to the case. Also includes a scrapbook of clippings about the case, and NCPPC newsletters, most of which contain articles about the Charlotte Three.

Box Folder

Clippings 1967-1978

1 8-11

Clippings 1979, undated

1 12

Newsletters 1972-1978

1 13

Scrapbook

OF 2 8

Robert W. Reike Correspondence 1968-1978

Scope and Contents note

This subseries contains correspondence (1973-74) between Reddy and Rieke, chair of the UNC Charlotte History Department, concerning Reddy's successful completion of requirements for a B.A. degree in history while in prison. Includes Reddy's letter to Rieke (April, 1968) explaining his absence from class following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Box
1
Folder
14

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Civil Rights Issues 1971-1980

Scope and Contents note

This series reflects Reddy's involvement with civil rights groups and his interest in the civil rights movement. Includes files on the North Carolina Prisoner's Labor Union (Subseries 1), National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (Subseries 2), United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice (Subseries 3), the Southern Conference Educational Fund (Subseries 4), and the wilmington 10 (Subseries 5). Also includes files of miscellaneous material pertaining to civil rights in general (Subseries 6) and a selection of civil and human rights oriented periodicals, books, and pamphlets (Subseries 7).

North Carolina Prisoners' Labor Unions 1972-1975

Scope and Contents note

This subseries contains bylaws, articles of incorporation, statement of purpose, and other organizational material of the union; information on activities of the union; articles and other information on prisoners' labor unions, prisoners' rights, the death penalty, behavior modification, and other prison-related issues; legal dockets involving cases taken up by the NCPLU and by other prisoners' unions, including a 1976 suit taken by the NCPLU on behalf of Reddy again the North Carolina Department of Corrections forcing due process in prison transfer; and publications by the NCPLU.

Box Folder

NCPLU 1972-77, undated

1 16-18

NCPLU undated

2 1

National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression 1972-1976

Scope and Contents note

This subseries contains primarily information on political repression in North Carolina, including the Charlotte Three and the Wilmington 10.

Box Folder

NAARPR 1972-1976

Scope and Contents note

Includes 23-page pamphlet "North Carolina: Laboratory for Racism and Repression" (n.d.)

2 2

United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice 1972-1977

Scope and Contents note

This subseries consists primarily of UCCCRJ publications, most of which contain articles about the Wilmington 10.

Box Folder

UCCCRJ 1972-1977

2 3

Southern Conference Educational Fund 1971-1977

Scope and Contents note

This subseries consists primarily of memos to SCEF members from the executive board. Portion of material relates to a conflict among factions within the SCEF, including the Black Panther Party, concerning whether the SCEF membership should extend to groups sympathetic to communism.

Box Folder

SCEF 1971-1977

2 3

Wilmington 10 1972-1977

Scope and Contents note

This subseries is comprised of assorted printed material, correspondence, clippings, and other material related to the Wilmington 10 case, in which the Rev. Ben Chavis and nine others were convicted for conspiracy to firebomb a grocery store in Wilmington, N.C. The conviction was considered by Amnesty International and other civil rights groups to be politically motivated. (See also subseries 4: Southern Conference Educational Fund).

Box Folder

Wilmington 10 1972-1977

Scope and Contents note

Includes typescript copy of letter (6-10-74) from key witness Jerome Mitchell to the North Carolina Parole Board admitting that he had committed perjury in Chavis's trial; letters to June Chavis Davenport from lawyer William Kunstler (5-24-77), and North Carolina senator Carolyn Mathis (5-19-77) commenting about the Wilmington 10's case; letters about the 10 to Elizabeth Chavis from North Carolina senator John W. Winters (5-23-77) and U. S. Representative James Martin of North Carolina (5-30-77); and two documents (n.d.) by Mac Hulslander, "Violence at the Church Doorstep," parts 1 and 2, describing the violence surrounding Gregory Church and the actions of the clergy and congregation in reaction to it.

2 5-6

Miscellany 1972-1976

Scope and Contents note

This subseries contains material related to civil rights and prison reform.

Box Folder

Charlotte

Scope and Contents note

Includes "The Charlotte Report" (1972) and an evaluation by the North Carolina Criminal Justice Task Force, of abuse imposed on Blacks by the criminal justice system.

2 7

North Carolina

Scope and Contents note

Includes photocopies of two chapters from Helen Edmonds's book, "The Negro and Fusion Politics in North Carolina--" The White Supremacy Campaign of 1898" and "The Wilmington Race Riot."

2 8

Other

Scope and Contents note

Includes information on prison reform and other human and civil rights issues nationally and internationally, in particular, South Africa and Chile.

2 9

Publications 1971-1978

Scope and Contents note

This subseries is divided further into two parts: Periodicals and Monographs.

Periodicals 1971-1978

Scope and Contents note

This subgroup consists of a selection of periodical publications of leftist and civil rights groups. Topics include political repression, freedom of the press, imperialism, disarmament, human rights (both in the U.S. and internationally), labor unionization, capital punishment, prison reform, race relations, and women's rights. Periodicals are arranged and described alphabetically by title. The following description also provides place and dates of publication and sponsoring group, where appropriate. [Note: unless otherwise noted, titles consist of a single issue.]

Box Folder

Access (Washington, D.C.: National Citizens Committee for Broadcasting) 10-15-76

2 10

African World (Greensboro, N.C.: Student Organization for Black Unity) 8-21-71

2 10

American Report (New York: Clergy and Laity Concerned) 1974

2 10

Amnesty Action (Amnesty International, USA) 1976-1977

Scope and Contents note

[6 issues]

2 10

Book Newsletter (New York: International Publishers) 1976

2 11

Call (Chicago: October League) 1976

2 11

Carolinian (Raleigh, N.C.) 1978

2 11

Carolina Community News Service (Raleigh, N.C.) 1976-1977

Scope and Contents note

[25 issues]

2 12

Chapel Hill Peace Center Newsletter (Chapel Hill, N.C.) 1976

2 13

Charlotte Advocate (Charlotte: Charlotte Equal Rights Council) 1978

Scope and Contents note

[2 issues]

2 13

Chicago Connections (Chicago) undated

2 13

Constructive Action for Good Health Magazine (Syracuse, N.Y.: American Conference of Therapeutic Self-Help/Self-Health/Social Clubs) 1974, 1976

Scope and Contents note

[2 issues]

2 14

Dollars and Sense (Sommerville, Md.: Union for Radical Political Economics) 1976

2 15

Free for All (Madison, Wis.) 1974

2 15

Great Speckled Bird (Atlanta: Atlanta Co-operative News Project) 1976

2 15

Greensboro Sun (Greensboro, N.C.) 1974

2 15

Hapotoc Newsletter (Amsterdam, Holland) 1974-1976

Scope and Contents note

[12 issues]

2 16

Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression Newsletter (Louisville) undated

2 17

Madness Network News (San Francisco) 1977

2 17

Matchbox (New York: Amnesty International, USA) 1976-1977

Scope and Contents note

[2 issues]

2 17

Merip Reports (Cambridge, Mass., and Washington, D.C.: Middle East Research and Information Project) 1975

2 17

Midnight Special (New York: National Lawyers Guild) 1974

2 17

Militant (New York) 1978

Scope and Contents note

[10 issues]

2 18-19

National Catholic Register (Kansas City: National Catholic Reporter Publishing Co.) 1975-1976

Scope and Contents note

[3 issues]

2 20

Nepa News (Franconia, N.H.: New England Prisoners Association) 1975

2 20

New American Movement (Sommerville, Md.) 1976

2 21

New World Review 1974

2 21

No Pintcha (New Bedford, Mass.) 1974

2 21

Open Road (Vancouver) 1977

2 21

Outlaw (San Francisco: Prisoners Union) 1971-1974

Scope and Contents note

[7 issues]

3 1

Peacemaker (Cincinnati: Peacemaker Movement) 1973

Scope and Contents note

[8 issues]

3 2

The People's Crusader 1976

3 2

People's World (Chapel Hill, N.C.: People's Alliance for a Cooperative Commonwealth) 1976

Scope and Contents note

[2 issues]

3 3

Race Relations Reporter (Nashville: Race Relations Information Center) 1974

3 3

Red Flag Union 1974

3 3

Resolution of Correctional Problems and Issues (Columbia: South Carolina Department of Corrections) 1975

3 3

Southern Africa (New York: Southern Africa Committee) 1974, 1978

Scope and Contents note

[2 issues]

3 3

Southern Coalition on Jails and Prisons Report (Nashville: Southern Prison Ministry) 1974, 1976

Scope and Contents note

[4 issues]

3 4

Southern Fight-Back (Birmingham: Southern Organization Committee for Economic and Social Justice) 1978

3 4

Southern Libertarian Messenger (Florence, S.C.) 1977

3 4

Southern Patriot (Louisville: Southern Conference Educational Fund) 1977-1978

Scope and Contents note

[2 issues]

3 4

Southern Struggle (Louisville: Southern Conference Educational Fund) 1977-1978

Scope and Contents note

[2 issues]

3 4

Workers World (New York) 1976, 1978

Scope and Contents note

[8 issues]

3 5

Monographs 1971-1977

Scope and Contents note

This subgroup contains monographs relating to political rights, which are arranged alphabetically by title.

Box Folder

The Case Against Capital Punishment (The Washington Research Project) 1971

3 3

Criminal Justice Priority - A Report to the Church (Commission for Racial Justice United Church of Christ) 1975

3 3

A Criticism of State Socialism (Mikhail Bajunin Ravachal/La Trobe Anarchist Group) 1975

3 3

Economic and Political Problems of Indians in Robeson County (North Carolina Advisory Committee to the U. S. Commission on Civil Rights) 1974

3 3

Little Sisters and the Law (Female Offender Resource Center, National Offender Services Coordination Program, and American Bar Association) 1977

3 7

Prisoners' Legal Rights: A Bibliography of Cases and Articles (Resource Center on Correctional Law and Legal Services, and editors of Prison Law Reporter, and American Bar Association) 1974

3 7

Secret Bulletin (Kao Sha, n.p.) undated

3 7

South Dakota: The Mississippi of the North (Or Stories Jack Anderson Never Told You) (Don and Jane Stevens) 1977

3 7

Tenants' Handook (North Carolina Public Interest Research Group) 1980

3 7

Pamphlet with Poems (n.p.) undated

3 7

Assorted Mimeographed Papers

3 7

Counter Spy Exposed as National Security Council Covert Arm (New Solidarity International Press Service) undated

3 7

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Biographical/Professional Material 1982-1990 (Bulk, 1982-1985)

Scope and Contents note

This series contains newspaper clippings and a newsletter relating to The Ready Art Shoppe, a gallery in Charlotte run by Reddy that features Afro-American art and artifacts. Also includes a copy of Reddy's resume.

Box
1
Folder
15

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