BLACK AMERICANA – FOR AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH, FEBRUARY 2019
books/ephemera, Connecticut / member Ephemera Society
1.[ALEX HALEY HAND-EDITED ARTICLE WITH AUTOGRAPH NOTE] ALEX HALEY (1921-92), American author, mostly notably ROOTS, original typed copy of two-page 8-1/2” x 11” article/vignette titled “Alex Haley Working on New Book” with the reporter byline in which Haley writes about trying to get started on his new book with the working title “Search” [but book never done by Haley] during the time “Roots — The Next Generation” produced by David Wolper was being filmed (as mentioned in the article), extensive handwritten editing in printed capitals in black ink by Haley including changes of words, insertions, and additions (with a couple of edits by the reporter in red pen), with additional related material as noted below: “Alex Haley Working On New Book” is a vignette almost entirely of quotes by Haley in which he relates the difficulty he was having in getting started on working on his book provisionally titled “Search”; as Haley relates, with the success of “Roots” he was “renting a very nice house…”; he couldn’t get settled for writing there, and it wasn’t until “One morning I got into my car and drove back over there [to the low-rent apartment building where he lived when he was writing “Roots”] and got another one-room studio” that he was able to start “working beautifully” on “Search,” going to the apartment “After dinner [to] work through the night”; renting the apartment to get away from the house he was renting was “sort of like psychically going back to my writing roots….”; ACCOMPANYING MATERIAL: (1) with the edited typescript is a handwritten autograph note/ANS dated April 26, 1978, to the Hollywood reporter Haley is working on the article/vignette with reading in full, “Dear —, Around 3am up here in my little studio. I've gone through this [accompanying article], making sundry alterations, not in any ‘censor’ spirit, but hopefully to better convey my experience as I’ve felt it. Warm best! Alex”; note paper with light green letterhead, “Alex Haley, 1801 Avenue of the Stars - Suite 640, Los Angeles, CA 90067, (213) 553-8940, with the envelope with the reporter’s address in North Hollywood handwritten by Haley in black ink with the return address the same as on the note paper in the same light green color in the lower left corner; (2) 2-1/4 page carbon copy version of the Haley-edited article headed “Alex Haley” and across from this To: Bill Dick [editor at the National Enquirer], Fr[om]: Hal Jacques [Leading Hollywood reporter active from the 1950s to ‘80s doing the article/interview with Haley]; (3) a 1-1/8 page carbon copy of an article titled “The Birthday Gift I'll Never Forget — Alex Haley” with the reporter byline about the birthday gift when he turned 4 of a “slice of a tree” from his grandfather’s lumber company given to him by his parents which was shellacked and had buttons marking historical events at “various points in the growth rings…,” closing with the quote from Haley, “I have always felt that [the gift] had a great deal to do with imbuing a great sense of history in me — and belonging.”; (4) a 10-1/4 page carbon copy of an article titled “The Book by the Author of ‘Roots’ That Was Never Published” with the reporter byline and note For: Joe Cassidy [editor at the National Enquirer] in the upper right corner, in first 5 pages Haley goes into his book on Phyllis Diller which was never published and his meeting Diller in person, at top of page numbered 4 (though actually page 5), Haley mentions his book “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” which he wrote in the “same manner” as the Phyllis Diller book but which was published, then is quoted, “Following that is when I went into ‘Roots’ ”, then Haley continues with remembrance of Phyllis Diller and his turning back part of the money for writing the book on her, then article picks up with Diller remembrances of Haley which are mostly quotes to the end of the article, article has a few minor edits, pages of articles have 3 punched holes along their left edges for keeping in ringed notebook; PROVENANCE: from the working file of the leading Hollywood/entertainment reporter Hal Jacques active from the 1950s to ’80s, whose name appears on each of the pieces and who is named in the salutation of the note by Haley as well as the addressed envelope.
$225.00 postpaid to any US address
2. [BLACK AMERICANA; BLACK MEMORABILIA] RUBY DEE, 1922-2014, famed African American actress, writer, and activist, “3/28 Ruby Wallace–Dee, 431 W. 141 St. N.Y.C. Hunter College” ownership signature in pen at upper right corner of blank front endpage plus handwritten notes on interior pages in the college course textbook “A Guide to Studies in Spanish American Literature” by Nina Lee Weisinger, Boston, New York, 1940, softcover, 5-1/4” x 7-1/4”, v, 120 pages, maps; NOTES: the notes in pen in Spanish on pages 38, 39, and 41 relate to the book’s section The ‘Modernista’ Movement (1888-1910), the long note on the back blank endpage probably for an essay Ruby Dee was thinking about and surely a part of her thoughts regarding social problems and later activism of hers reads, “And in conclusion, I repeat, we must love not hate our enemies for the misery they have inflicted upon us. Revenge must be no part of the goal for which we fight. For hate breeds only hate, revenge seeks only for further revenge. Let us seek rather for the heart of the enemy that we may help to make [them] grow in kindness. We must keep our far goal the liberation of all that is just so that the world will really be a better place in which to live.” [with some editing of crossed out words and inserted words]; BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE: Ruby Dee graduated from Hunter College, New York City, in 1945, with a degree in Romance Languages where she was a member of the sorority Delta Sigma Theta focused on programs for African American communities and made up mostly of African-American women, in light of Ruby Dee’s major at Hunter College and her later leadership and involvement in African- American activism and interests, this copy with its notes is especially notable to the biography, character, activism, and beliefs of Ruby Dee,; the notes in Spanish on pages 38, 39, and 41 numbered 1-23 reveal how her own thinking on activism and civil rights was influenced by her study of the Spanish modernist writers, among these notes one finds in Spanish the words for liberty, transformation, revolution, possible futures, individuality, crisis of unrest, and the relatively lengthy, humanitarian statement (quoted above) on the book’s last page succinctly expresses the source of her motivation and aim in her prominent livelong activist; CONDITION: very good with general moderate wear in being a used student textbook, binding and text block firm. $250.00 postpaid to any US address
3. [BLACK MEMORABILIA; UNPUBLISHED SCREENPLAY; APARTHEID] AFRICA SOUTH – A Screenplay by Pilar Jennings & Margaret-Anne Smith, December 18, 1993, Black Ink Films, All Rights Reserved, typeset single-space manuscript of the screenplay (apparently never produced), 8-1/2” x 11”, 164 pages, right-hand pages only, paper covers, binding three clips in holes along the left edges of the manuscript pages; CHARACTERS: Joseph Ndhlovu and his wife Emma of Xhosa descent and their children; Jaques de Villiers, white male of Afrikaner descent, age 34; and other black and white South Africans of both sexes; STORY: the screenplay depicts conditions and events including organizations and demonstrations in the waning days of apartheid and ends with the conviction of South African white policemen for the injuries and murders of individuals in an anti-apartheid demonstration; NOTE: For the 1991 science-fiction action film “Dollman,” Margaret-Anne Smith is listed as the film editor, and Pilar Jennings is listed as the first editorial assistant (IMDb online) CONDITION: near fine, negligible wear to interior pages with the manuscript, minimal wear to covers.
$160.00 postpaid to any US address