Barbara (Jones) Omolade, then Barbara Jones, was born on October 29, 1942 to Hugh Jones and Mamie Taylor Jones in Brooklyn, NY. She received her B.A. in 1964 from Queens College, City University of New York, and later went on to receive her PhD in Sociology from The City University of New York (1997). Omolade studied at Queens College from 1960-1964. During the spring semester of 1964, she served as chairman of the Civil Rights Coordinating Council. While working with this council, Omolade helped to organize Freedom Week (April 20th-24th) on campus. This event was sponsored by the Congress of Racial Equality (C.O.R.E.). Freedom Week consisted of lectures and rallies that informed faculty, students, and the Queens community about the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project and developments in the Civil Rights Movement. Objectives of Freedom Week included recruiting volunteers and raising money to send students to volunteer in Mississippi.
Omolade conducted scholarly research on African American women's history and in 1977 she taught one of the first social science courses on African American women at the College of New Rochelle, Co-Op City Evening Program. In 1981, she moved to the City College of New York Center for Worker Education and quickly joined the faculty. By 1983, Omolade helped found Friends of Women's Studies at CUNY, an instrumental group for establishing the CUNY faculty development seminar on balancing curriculum for gender, race, ethnicity and class.
Omolade's book The Rising Song of African American Women was published in 1994. In 2004, she became dean of multicultural affairs at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she stayed until retirement. In 2010, Hands on the Freedom Plow was published, which offers personal accounts by women in SNCC. Omolade contributed “Building a New World”, a letter written to her parents describing her decision to join the Civil Rights Movement and move to Atlanta to work in the SNCC office.
The Barbara (Jones) Omolade collection (1963-1995) documents the experience of Barbara (Jones) Omolade in the Civil Rights Movement, with emphasis on civil rights activism on the Queens College campus. The bulk of the collection focuses on Queens College's Freedom Week and the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project. The collection holds memos, flyers, forms, reports, and correspondences. Highlights include student activist sign-in sheets with the signature of Andrew Goodman and a speech delivered by SNCC executive secretary James Forman in Mississippi. The Barbara (Jones) Omolade collection also contains documents relating to the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and the Mississippi Summer Project Curriculum Conference.
Folders are arranged alphabetically based on content.
Conditions Governing Access note
Collection is open for research. Staff may restrict access at its discretion on the basis of physical condition.
The Barbara (Jones) Omolade Collection is the property of the Queens College Libraries. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assignees. The collection is subject to all copyright laws. Queens College assumes no responsibility for the infringement of copyrights held by the original authors, creators, or producers of materials.
Civil Rights Coordinating Council
Civil rights movement--United States--History--20th century
Civil rights--United States
Council of Federated Organizations (U.S.)
Freedom Week 1964, Queens College
Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party
Mississippi Freedom Project
New York (State)
Omolade, Barbara Jones
Queens College (New York, N.Y.)
Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (U.S.)
Item, date (if known), box, folder, Barbara (Jones) Omolade Collection, Department of Special Collections and Archives, Queens College, City University of New York.
Donated by Barbara (Jones) Omolade in 2011.