Records of Sister Soldier Project, 2007-2016
Collection consists of publicity, awards, correspondence with donors and recipients, photographs, and records relating to the shipping of the packages abroad.
Language of Materials
Materials in English.
Access. Collection is open for research. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright. Copyright in the records created by Sister Soldier Project is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library.
Copying. Records may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.
Extent3.13 linear feet (7 + 1/2 file boxes)
65.325 Megabytes (15 files)
The collection contains papers related to the operation of the Sister Soldier Project including administrative files, correspondence, photographs, and audiovisual material. The papers were in order when received and have been further arranged by the archivist.
Series I, ADMINISTRATIVE, 2007-2016 (#1.1-5.9m), documents the operation of the Sister Soldier Project; materials include packing slips from corporate sponsors including Organic Root Stimulator, Dr. Miracles, Luster Products, and Soft Sheen-Carson, and letters with designer Rhonda Willingham discussing the creation of the Sister Soldier Project logo. The majority of the series contains material related to packing parties in which care packages were assembled in preparation for shipping to African American female troops overseas. Of particular interest are mailing lists of troops including their names, rank, deployment address, hair type, and product wish lists; calendars detailing the number of packages sent each month; and notes documenting the names of individuals and institutions who participated in the packing parties. Color printouts of the now-defunct Sister Soldier Project web page, as well as articles and clippings about the project, are also included. The series is arranged in alphabetical order.
Series II, CORRESPONDENCE, 2007-2013 (#5.10-8.6), consists of thank you letters, greeting cards, and notes from United States troops deployed in Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan sent to Myraline Morris Whitaker and the Sister Soldier Project. Also included are letters and greeting cards offering encouragement and financial donations in support of the Sister Soldier Project. The series is arranged in chronological order.
Series III, PHOTOGRAPHS, 2009-2011 (E.1-E.4), consists of images from packing parties hosted by Morgan State University, and the American Medical Association. Also included are photographs from packing parties held in Shreveport, Louisiana. The series is arranged in alphabetical order.
Series IV, AUDIOVISUAL, 2011 (E.5-E.7), consists of video clips of a packing party held at Morgan State University in 2011. The series is arranged in chronological order.
The Sister Soldier Project was founded in 2006 by Myraline Morris Whitaker, a hotel management company owner living in Arroyo Grande, California, in response to the needs of African American female soldiers serving in Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan for products difficult to acquire during their deployment. Soldiers received two care packages; one containing women's personal hygiene products and hair care items, such as relaxer kits; and the other consisting of comforting items such as movies, music, books, magazines, snacks, and flavored water additives. Personal letters from individuals conveying their support and gratitude were also sent to the troops.
Whitaker secured product donations from leading hair care manufacturers, including Organic Root Stimulator, Dr. Miracles, Luster Products and Soft Sheen-Cason, raised funds for shipping from individuals and women's groups around the country, created a web site to support the effort, and organized packing parties throughout the east and west coasts of the United States at various universities and corporate offices including Morgan State University, California Polytechnic State University, and Toyota in Torrence, California. Over 7,000 care packages were shipped between 2006 and 2012.
The collection is arranged in four series:
- Series I. Administrative, 2007-2016 (#1.1-5.9m)
- Series II. Correspondence, 2007-2013 (#5.10-8.6)
- Series III. Photographs, 2009-2011 (E.1-E.4, 8.7)
- Series IV. Audiovisual, 2011 (E.5-E.7)
Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Accession numbers: 2015-M91, 2015-M110, 2015-M152
The records of Sister Soldier Project were given to the Schlesinger Library by Myraline Morris Whitaker in February 2015.
Processed: December 2016
By: Amber L. Moore, with assistance from Margaret Dalton.
- African American soldiers--Services for
- African American soldiers--Social networks
- African American women--Health and hygiene
- African American women--Social networks
- Beauty, Personal
- Digital moving image formats
- Electronic records
- Hair--Care and hygiene
- Hairdressing of African Americans
- Women soldiers--Services for
- Women--Social networks
- Sister Soldier Project. Records of Sister Soldier Project, 2007-2016: A Finding Aid
- Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
- Language of description
- EAD ID
Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository
The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.
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