Ruchell Magee collection, 1971, undated
Nine items of printed material, including press releases and open letters, created for distribution by several Oakland, California, groups in support of Ruchell Magee and other Black people incarcerated for political reasons.
Language of Materials
Materials in English.
Access. Collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright. Copyright in the Ruchell Magee collection as well as copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.
The Ruchell Magee collection contains nine items of printed material, including press releases and open letters, created for distribution by several Oakland, California, groups in support of Ruchell Magee and other Black people incarcerated for political reasons. The material was authored by several organizations, including Black Mothers United for Action, Ruchell Magee Committee for Black Prisoners (later "Black Prisoners of War Around the World, Nations, et al, Blacks"), and the Committee for Black Political Prisoners. The documents seek support for Magee, and several focus on the incompetence and complicity of his court-appointed legal representation. Others describe ways to support these organizations by donations and supplies and at the university-level through lectures and classroom visits. Some of the documents advocate for the cases of other Black people who are incarcerated, including Rose Marie Hardy, a Black woman charged with stabbing her child's teacher but who later argued she was protecting her child.
Ruchell "Cinque" Magee was born in 1939 in Franklinton, Louisiana. In 1963, he was convicted of aggravated kidnapping and incarcerated in California. While serving his sentence, he studied African American history and law and became a member of the Black Panther Party. In 1970, while Magee was serving as a witness at the trial of James McClain, a man who was also incarcerated, Jonathan Jackson took control of the Marin County courtroom to demand his brother George Jackson be released from prison. Magee, McClain, and William Christmas took Judge Harold Haley and others hostage and attempted to escape. During the escape, Judge Haley, Christmas, Jackson, and McClain were killed. Magee was the only surviving member of the incident and in 1975 was sentenced to life imprisonment. He is considered by many to be incarcerated for political reasons.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Accession number: 2020-M148
The Ruchell Magee collection was acquired from Bolerium Books in December 2020.
Processed: December 2021
By: Paula Aloisio
The Schlesinger Library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit. Finding aids may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.
- Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
- Language of description
- Processing of this collection was made possible by gifts from the Pforzheimer Fund for the Schlesinger Library and Class of 1957 Schlesinger Library Fund.
- EAD ID
Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository
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