Trezzvant W. Anderson papers
Scope and contents
This collection consists of the papers of Trezzvant W. Anderson from 1932 to 1963, with the bulk of the material documenting the last few years of his life. It consists mainly of typescripts of his articles submitted in the later part of his career as a reporter for the "Pittsburgh Courier." Most of the articles were written under the bylines "Courier Press Service," "Courier Roving Reporter," "Dateline: Georgia" and "Report from Dixie." Also included in the collection are notebooks and printed materials Anderson used in writing and researching his articles. The earliest materials relate to his service in the U.S. Army during World War II, and his affiliation with the Elks. Very little of his family life is recorded in these papers. A few of the letters mention a wife in passing and he lists Eugenia M. Anderson as his wife on his 1952 tax return.
A significant amount of the correspondence is letters between Anderson and his managers at the "Pittsburgh Courier." Of interest are the letters from William G. (Bill) Nunn, Executive Editor, and Managing Editor P.L. Prattis that concern story assignments and comments on his articles. Most of the correspondence dated 1958-1959 regards sales of the "Courier" and highlights the efforts of a Black newspaper to increase its circulation, especially in the segregated towns of the South. There is also correspondence that relates to his writings such as the letters asking Black community leaders in Florida to urge state officials to spare four men from the death penalty in a 1959 rape case, and letters from people he featured in his articles thanking him for the publicity. Of special interest is correspondence which documents civil rights efforts in the South: attorney James Franklin Estes discusses Tennessee issues; Richard Haley, Congress Of Racial Equality (CORE) field secretary, updates Anderson on the Huntsville, Alabama situation; and Robert W. Saunders writes about bus desegregation in Florida.
- Anderson, Trezzvant W. (Person)
Biographical timeline and note
Trezzvant William Anderson (1906-1963) was an author and journalist best known for reporting on the injustices and inequalities of the Jim Crow South at the height of the Civil Rights Movement. For most of his career as a journalist, Anderson was affiliated with the "Pittsburgh Courier", first as a desk reporter in Pittsburgh in 1947, and eventually as the "Courier Roving Reporter," traveling throughout the Southeastern United States. Anderson considered himself the voice of the people and often referred to himself as "your man" in his articles. His writings, as evidenced in this collection, concentrate mainly on civil rights issues such as boycotts, trials, and glaring examples of discrimination in the justice system. When Anderson was assigned to the "Courier's" Circulation Department in 1958, he would frequently overlap his sales efforts with his reporting when traveling through the Southeast. Anderson would often trade publicity through articles to increase sales and his sales staff.
A member of the 761st Tank Battalion of the U.S. Army during World War II, Anderson wrote the unit's history book "Come Out Fighting: The Epic Tale of the 761st Tank Battalion, 1942-1945." A lifelong Elks member, Anderson was the editor of their magazine "Elkdom." He was also a member of various organizations and unions such as the Washington Negro Press Club (serving as its president from 1931 to 1934), the American Newspaper Guild, and the American Federation of Labor.
- 1906 November 22
- Born to Trezzvant E. and Amanda (Dixon) Anderson in Charlotte, NC
- Entered Johnson C. Smith University (did not graduate)
- 1927 October
- Appointed substitute railway mail clerk
- Became contributing editor at "The Charlotte Post"
- Speech writer for Caesar R. Blake, Jr. (Imperial Potentate of the Shriners)
- Assigned regular railway clerk out of Washington, D.C.
- Founded the Washington Negro Press Club (served as President from 1931-1934)
- Publicist for J. Finley Wilson, Grand Exalted Ruler of the Elks
- 1941 November
- Fired as railway clerk
- 1943 January
- Drafted into the United States Army (served as Army correspondent and later became member of the 761st Tank Battalion)
- 1944 October 22
- Interviewed General George S. Patton at Nancy, France
- Published book "Come Out Fighting: The Epic Tale of the 761st Tank Battalion, 1942-1945"
- Published and edited his own newspaper in Charlotte, NC
- 1947 January
- Hired onto assembly line at Ford Motor Company in Detroit, Mich.
- 1947 February
- Hired by "Pittsburgh Courier" as a journalist based in Pittsburgh
- Moved to the Southeast as the "Courier Roving Reporter"
- 1963 March 25
- Died in Macon, Ga.
14 Linear feet
Language of Materials
- Trezzvant Anderson papers, 1932-1963
- Finding aid prepared by Cathy Lynn Mundale, 2002 April.
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description