1 Tuzuru

Manuals Term Paper Is Due On March 31 1968

Political Science Reference Guide for Chicago Manual of Style



See 15.45

Use abbreviations at first occurrence of a term [e.g., fiscal year (FY)].May use both abbreviation and full term throughout text.

Prioritize “that is,” for “i.e.,” and “for example,” for “e.g.,” (always follow with a comma) (5.202, 6.44)

Spell out full name at first mention

For most abbreviations and acronyms, including personal names, omit the periods (e.g., IRS, JFK, LBJ, NAACP, NLRB) (8.6, 17.278)

In notes, Congresses are “Cong.” and congressional sessions are “sess.” (e.g., 93d Cong., 2d sess.) (17.300)

Electoral College (not EC)

instant runoff voting (not IRV)

members of Congress (not MCs)

DC; Washington, DC (no periods) (15.29, 17.100)

UN (no periods) (8.67)

U.S. (8.67, 8.69)

Use postal abbreviations for states in note and bibliographic references (e.g., New Haven, CT: Yale University Press) (15.29, 17.100)

Use postal abbreviations for states of U.S. representatives; use hyphen to separate party and state (e.g., Barry Goldwater (R-AZ), Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. (R-MA) (15.29, 15.31)

Use “Ibid., page number” when referring to a previous cite not separated by other cited works (lowercase ibid when not starting the sentence). (16.47, 16.48)

vs. (v. for court cases)

Use Republican, not GOP

Space on each side of equal sign ( =) (See examples, 9.11–9.12, 9.21–9.27, 14.2, 14.14–14.18)


Upper Case

African American (never hyphenated) (7.90)

Anti-Federalist; Anti-Federalists (always hyphenate) (7.90, 8.71)

Article II, Article I, section 2; Article II of the U.S. Constitution; Article II, section 4 (not italicized) (8.86, 9.32); however, in notes, “U.S. Constitution, art. I, sec. 10, cl. 3.”

Articles of Confederation (not italicized) (8.86)

Bill of Rights (not italicized) (8.86)

Chairman Rep. Emanuel Celler (D-NY) (8.21, 15.31)

Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist (8.21)

Chinese Americans (never hyphenated) (7.90)

the Cold War

the College (when used as shorthand for Electoral College, after first and full mention)

Commander in Chief

Constitution (cap. when referring to a country’s constitution, i.e., the U.S. Constitution)

Constitutional Convention; the Convention

Committee on the Judiciary; Judiciary Committee (8.67)

Congress; the United States Congress; U.S. Congress; Congresses; Congress member; the Ninety-ninth Congress; the 111th Congress; the Eleventh Congressional District (8.67, 8.55)

Constitution of the United States; U.S. Constitution; the Constitution (not italicized; may omit “U.S.” after first use) (8.86)

Declaration of Independence (not italicized) (8.86)

Delegate Franklin

Department of Political Science (8.73)

the Depression

DC (Not D.C.), District of Columbia, the District (after first mention)

the East (8.49)

Elector Barbara Lett-Simmons of Washington, DC (8.21, 8.25)

Electoral College; the College (8.67) (always capitalized; not EC)

Electoral Count Act of 1887 (not italicized) (8.86)


Federalist; Federalists (8.71)

the Federalist Paper, No. 51

Free-Soil Party; Free-Soilers (always hyphenate) (8.71)

General Assembly of Illinois (8.67)

Governor Bush (8.21, 8.25)

House; U.S. House; House of Representatives (8.67)

Inauguration Day

Internet (17.234)

Interstate Compact; Mayflower Compact (not italicized) (8.86) (All capitals at first mention, thereafter, lowercase and no quotes, e.g., the compact, compact legislation, interstate compact) (See C & B, 190)

Justice Antonin Scalia (8.21)

Mayor Richard M. Daley; Mayor Daley (8.25)

Midwest (When area is not specifically located on a map) (8.49)

Mountain zone

Muslim (Moslem used by journalists, Muslim used by scholars and adherents of Islam)

“National Popular Vote Interstate Compact” (All capitals and in quotes at first mention, thereafter, lowercase and no quotes, for instance, the compact, compact legislation, interstate compact) (8.86)

the North (8.49)

Northwest; Northeast (When area is not specifically located on a map) (8.49)

Pacific (When area is not specifically located on a map) (8.49)

Party (capitalize after Republican, etc. or in subsequent references to that party)

President Carter, President Richard M. Nixon (8.21, 8.25) (but do not capitalize presidency, presidential, election of president)

Prime Minister Tony Blair, the British Prime Minister (8.21)

Progressive Era (8.79)

Representative Emanuel Celler (D-NY) (but representatives) (8.25)


the Revolution; Revolutionary War; War of Independence (8.121)

Senate; United States Senate; U.S. Senate (but senators) (8.67)

Senator Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. (R-MA) (8.25)

September 11 (not 9/11) (8.81)

Social Security

Solid South

the South (8.49)

Speaker of the House; Speaker

Subcommittee on the Constitution; Committee on the Election of President, Vice President and Representatives in Congress (8.67)

Supreme Court; the Court; United States Supreme Court; U.S. Supreme Court (8.68)

Temporary Assistance to Needy Families; TANF (not italicized) (8.86)

Title VII (not italicized) (8.86, 9.32)

Treaty of Versailles (not italicized) (8.86)

Twelfth Amendment; Twenty-second Amendment (not italicized) (7.90, 8.86, 9.32, 9.50–9.53)

United Nations; UN (8.67)

United States; U.S. (United States as noun) (8.67, 8.69)

U.S. (U.S. as adjective) (8.67, 8.69)

Vice President Gore

Vietnam War (8.121)

Voting Rights Act of 1965; the Voting Rights Act (not italicized) (8.86)

War on Poverty

Washington, DC

Web site; Web page; Web-related (7.90)

the West (8.49)

Western (when used politically)

World War II (never hyphenated, not italicized) (7.90)

Lower Case

administration; Carter administration (8.25)

a priori (not italicized) (7.54)

assembly; the assembly; the state assembly; the lower house of the legislature (8.67)

chair; chairman; chairmen; Emanuel Celler (D-NY), chair of the Judiciary Committee (8.25)

chief justice; chief justice of the United States; William H. Rehnquist, chief justice of the United States (8.25)

city hall; the city council (8.67, 8.70)

civil rights movement (8.81)

clause; compact clause; due process clause (8.86)


commissioner, commissioners (8.21)

committee; the committee (8.67)

compact; the compact (8.86)

congressional; congressional members; members of Congress (Do not use “congressman” or “congressmen” (8.67)

congressional district (but not Fifth Congressional District) (8.55)

congressional member, member of Congress (Do not use “Congressman” or “Congressmen”)

coup d’état(not italicized) (7.62)

de jure (roman, not italics)


due process clause (8.86)

eastern Republicans

easterner (8.49, 8.50)

elector, electors (8.25)

e-mail (not capitalized, always hyphenated) (7.90,p. 305)

en masse

equal rights amendment; ERA (not italicized) (8.86)

executive branch (8.70)

faithless elector; the faithless elector of 2000, Barbara Lett-Simmons (8.25)

federal; federal government(8.70)

federalism (8.70, 8.71)


founder; founders (8.72)

founding; the founding; the founding period (8.78, 8.81)

framer; framers (8.72)

glasnost (means openness, publicity)

governor, the governor, governor of New York; George Bush, governor of Texas; governors (8.21, 8.25)

grassroots (adjective); grass roots (noun)

historian Smith

impeachment (8.86)

information age (8.80)

instant runoff voting (not IRV)

interstate (no hyphenation) (7.90)

intrastate (no hyphenation) (7.90)

in toto

judicial branch (8.70)

justice; justice of the United States; Antonin Scalia, justice of the United States Supreme Court (8.25)


large-state votes / large-state representatives / large-state senators (hyphenate as adjective) (7.90)

left / right (do not cap for political usage)

legislative branch (8.70)

legislature; the Illinois legislature (8.67)

liberal (do not cap political title)

mayor; Richard M. Daley, the mayor of Chicago (8.25)

member of Congress, congressional member (Do not use “Congressman,” “Congressmen,’ or MC)

member of Parliament (8.25)

midcentury (no hyphenation) (7.90)

mid-twentieth century (always spell out; hyphenate as adjective: mid-twentieth-century proposals) (7.90, 8.77)

mid-1900s, mid-nineteen hundreds (7.90, 9.37)

midwestern Republicans; midwestern states (8.49, 8.50)

northeast (lowercase when direction) (7.90, 8.49, 8.50)

northeasterner; northerner; northwestern (8.49, 8.50)

north–south alliance

nineties, 1990s (no apostrophe) (9.37)

perestroika (restructuring, reorganization)

political science (8.91)

political scientist Mayhew

politics (treat as singular, that is, “politics develops” not “politics develop”)

president; the president; president of the United States, presidency; presidential election; president-elect (7.90, 8.21, 8.25)

prime facie

prime minister; Tony Blair, the British Prime Minister (8.25)

realist (school of IR theory)

republicanism (8.71)

representative, the representative from New York; Emanuel Celler, representative from New York(8.25)

right wing (not hyphenated; noun)

section 2 of Article I of the Constitution; Article II, section 4 (not italicized) (8.86, 9.32)

senator; the senator from Massachusetts; Henry Cabot Lodge Jr., senator from Massachusetts (8.25)

short-lived (always hyphenate)

small-state votes / small-state representatives / small-state senators (hyphenate as adjective) (7.90)

southerner (8.49, 8.50)

southern Democrats; southern states

southwest (lowercase when direction) (7.90, 302; 8.49, 8.50)

state; state authority (8.70)

state-by-state (always hyphenate) (8.70)

state-level effort (hyphenate as adjective)

state senate; the upper house of the legislature (8.67)

status quo

twentieth century (always spell out; hyphenate as adjective: twentieth-century proposals) (7.90, 8.77)

twenty-first century (always spell out; hyphenate as adjective: twenty-first-century proposals) (7.90, 8.77, 9.36)

two-thirds majority (always hyphenate) (7.90)

vice president; the vice president; vice president of the United States (8.21, 8.25) (lowercase when referring to office, cap when referring to person)


war making (noun) / war-making (adjective)

well-known (always hyphenate)

western (when used geographically)

western Republicans

western states

winner-take-all (always hyphenate) (7.90)


Court Cases and Decisions

Italicize case name, including the “v.”; do not italicize the volume publication details or year (17.283)

Omit periods from abbreviated names (e.g., NLRB, RAV) (17.278)

Place full citation, which includes the publication information and date, in notes (17.283)

Not needed in bibliography (17.283)

Omit publication information when mentioning case in-text (e.g., Williams v. Virginia State Board of Elections (1968); Williams v. Virginia State Board of Elections; Delaware v. New York)

N: Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98 (2000)

N: Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533 (1964)

N: United States v. Dennis, 183 F. 201 (2d Cir. 1950)

N: United States v. Patterson, 55 F. 605 (1893).

N: Williams v. Virginia State Board of Elections, 288 F. Supp. 622 (E.D. Va., 1968)


See Chicago 5.79, 6.46, 9.33

Month Day, Year is preferred (e.g. March 31, 2009; March 2009) (Use throughout text, notes, and bibliographic entries) (6.46)

midcentury (no hyphenation) (7.90)

mid-twentieth century (always spell out; hyphenate as adjective: mid-twentieth-century proposals) (7.90, 8.77)

mid-1900s, mid-nineteen hundreds (7.90, 9.37)

nineties, 1990s (no apostrophe) (9.37)

twentieth century (always spell out; hyphenate as adjective: twentieth-century proposals) (7.90, 8.77)

twenty-first century (always spell out; hyphenate as adjective: twenty-first-century proposals) (7.90, 8.77, 9.36)

Don’t use ordinals for dates (e.g., use December 5 not December 5th) (9.35)


See Chicago, 5.92–5.93, 6.80–6.82, 7.33–7.45, 7.90, 8.169, 8.170

Note differences and different uses among hyphen, en dash, em dash (6.80–6.96)

For members of Congress, use single-letter party and two-letter postal state abbreviations, hyphenation between party and state designations, closed up, [e.g., Emanuel Celler (D-NY)] (do not use en or em dash) (15.29, 15.31)

Hyphenate compounds when used as adjective, but not when used as noun (e.g., agenda-setting committee, small-state votes)

Hyphenate compounds beginning with anti- if second element is capitalized (e.g., Anti-Federalists)

Don’t hyphenate most words beginning with “co” “non” “re” “pre” (but hyphenate most “post-” words) (7.90, 307–9; see 16.83)

African American (not hyphenated; noun & adjective) (7.90)

agenda setting (not hyphenated; noun)

agenda-setting meeting (adjective)

Anti-Federalist; Anti-Federalists (always hyphenate, always capitalized) (7.90, 8.71)

battleground states (not hyphenated)

bill text (not hyphenated)


city-state (7.90, p. 303)

coauthor (7.90, 307–9; see 16.83)

cooperation (7.90, 307–9; see 16.83)

coordinate (7.90, 307–9; see 16.83)

Commander in Chief (not hyphenated)

cutoff(not hyphenated)

decision makers (not hyphenated; noun)

decision making (noun)

decision-making (adjective) (7.90, p. 303)

direct election plan (not hyphenated)


double-ballot majority system

electoral vote winner (not hyphenated)

electoral vote plan (not hyphenated)

e-mail (not capitalized, always hyphenated) (7.90,p. 305)



face-off (hyphenated)


first round (noun)

first-place votes (hyphenated)

first-round election (adjective)

first-round plurality winner

follow-up (both noun and adjective)

forgo (not hyphenated)

four-year term (always hyphenate)

fringe-party candidate (not hyphenated)


Free-Soil Party; Free-Soilers (always hyphenate) (8.71)


grassroots (not hyphenated; adjective)

grass roots (not hyphenated; noun)

home rule (noun), home-rule governance (adjective) (7.90, p. 303)

interstate (not hyphenated) (7.90)

intrastate (not hyphenated) (7.90)

interfaith (7.90, p. 307)

interorganizational (7.90, p. 307)


intra-arterial (7.90, p. 307)

intrazonal (7.90, p. 307)

instant runoff voting (not IRV) (not hyphenated)


large state

large-state votes / representatives (hyphenated as adjective) (7.90)

lawmaker, lawmaking

least favored state; nation (not hyphenated) (7.90, 302)

long-run (dictionary)


low-income (adjective)

make-up of the Senate

major-party candidate

majority vote winner (not hyphenated)

midcentury (no hyphenation) (7.90)

middle-class family

middle-sized states (not mid-size) (dictionary)


mid-twentieth century (always spell out; hyphenate as adjective: mid-twentieth-century proposals) (7.90, 8.77)

mid-1900s, mid-nineteen hundreds (7.90, 9.37)

midterm elections (dictionary)

midwestern states

minority vote winner; minority vote plan (not hyphenated)

minor-party candidate

most favored state; nation (not hyphenated) (7.90, 302)

multi-candidate race

national electoral vote (not hyphenated; noun and adjective)

national popular vote (not hyphenated; noun and adjective)




nonconstitutional, nonparticipation, nonreelection, noncompetitive, nonvoters, nonpartisan, nonideological

one-person, one-vote (hyphenate as adjective)



peacekeeping (not hyphenated; noun and adjective)

policymaker (not hyphenated) (7.90, p. 303)

policymaking (not hyphenated) (7.90, p. 303)

popular plurality (not hyphenated)

popular vote winner (not hyphenated)

popular vote plan (not hyphenated)

popular vote system (not hyphenated)

post-Cold War, post-election, post-reform, post-totalitarian, post-war


preelection, preexisting, predate



right wing (not hyphenated; noun)

right-wing (adjective)

rollback (not hyphenated; noun)

roll back (not hyphenated; verb)

rulemaking (not hyphenated; noun and adjective)

runner-up (7.90, 304; dictionary)


runoff (not hyphenated) (7.90)

run up

second-place vote

second round (not hyphenated as noun)

second-round runoff

separation of powers (not hyphenated)


six-year term (always hyphenate)

small state

small-state votes; small-state representatives (hyphenate as adjective) (7.90, 302)

small-state senators (hyphenate as adjective) (7.90, 302)

southern states

speechmaking (not hyphenated; noun and adjective)


state-by-state (always hyphenate) (8.70)

statewide (not hyphenated)

straightforward (not hyphenated)




top-ranked candidates

thereafter (not hyphenated)

third-party candidate(always hyphenate)

three-fourths of state legislatures

tradeoff (noun or adjective) (7.90, 304; dict, 150)

turnout (not hyphenated)

two-party system (always hyphenate)

two-round majority system

two-term presidency

two-thirds majority

two-year term (always hyphenate)

twenty-first century (always spell out; hyphenate as adjective: twenty-first-century proposals, twenty-first-century reform movements) (7.90, 8.77, 9.36)

two-thirds majority (always hyphenate) (7.90)


vice-presidential candidate


vote-getter, vote-getters

vote share (not hyphenated)

war making (not hyphenated; noun)

war-making (adjective)

Web site; Web page; Web-related (7.90)


winner-take-all (always hyphenate) (7.90)

World War II (never hyphenated, not italicized) (7.90)

worldwide (not hyphenated)

Names and Titles

Use the full name of an individual at first mentioning (8.21)

Capitalize a title when immediately preceding a specific personal name (e.g. President Bush) (8.21)

Lowercase a title when referring to the office itself or when following a name (e.g., the presidency of George W. Bush; George W. Bush did not prioritize electoral reform as president) (8.21)

It is not necessary to repeat the title after its initial use (8.21)

Use spaces in between initials in personal names (e.g., E. E. Schattschneider, W. E. B. DuBois) (8.6, 8.7)

Omit periods when initials are used alone (e.g., LBJ, JFK) (8.6)

Omit Mr. Mrs. Dr. (15.20)

For members of Congress, use single-letter party and two-letter postal state abbreviations, hyphenation between party and state designations, closed up, [e.g., Rep. Emanuel Celler (D-NY)] (do not use en or em dash) (15.29, 15.31)

May use “Rep.” and “Sen.” (except if “the” precedes title; e.g., “the Honorable …”) (8.25, 15.13, 15.18)

No commas surround suffixes Jr., II, III, 2d, 4th; including in note references (6.49, 9.47, 15.19) (except in Bibliography and Index; e.g., Strunk, William, Jr., and E. B. White. … (17.79 18.41)

Possessives (5.25, 7.17–7.30)


citizens’ votes



Marx’s theory

politics’ true meaning

senators’ votes

the Lincolns’ house

United States’

the United States’ presence


Punctuation and Grammar

No one-sentence paragraphs

Include comma before the final “and” or “or” in lists

Use quotation marks to emphasize special meaning, or new words only at first use.

Extensive use of quotation marks should be eliminated.


Do not hyphenate terms that connote ethnic or national affiliation (e.g. Asian American).

May hyphenate if second word starts with same letter (anti-inflationary) or hyphen aids in comprehension, but not if word is not hyphenated in Webster’s (e.g. reelect).

Hyphenate constructions such as “then-Turkish Prime Minister Turgut Özal.”

Technical jargon (e.g. factor loading, regression) should be defined and used limitedly.

Colloquial language can generally remain.

Keep contractions to a minimum (e.g., “can’t,” wouldn’t,” etc.).

Word Usage

See Chicago 5.202

and – It is fine to begin a sentence with the conjunction “and” (5.202, p. 200).

and/or – Avoid usage; instead try “____ or ___ or both” (5.202, p. 200)

but– It is fine to begin a sentence with the conjunction “but” (5.202, p. 204).

etc. – Never use in reference to people; only use when list is truly inexhaustible; do not use “and, etc.”; do not use at end of list that begins with “for example,” or “e.g.,” (5.202, p. 214).

e.g.; i.e. – Prioritize “that is,” for “i.e.,” and “for example,” for “e.g.,” (always follow with a comma) (5.202, p. 218; also see 6.44)

its; it’s – “Its” is possessive; “it’s” is contraction of “it is” (5.202, p. 220).

may; might – “May” expresses what is possible, factual; “might” suggest something that is uncertain, hypothetical (5.202, p. 221).

on; upon – Prioritize “on” to “upon” (Place the book on the shelf.”); use “upon” when introducing an event or condition (“You will get paid upon completion of the job.”)(5.202, p. 223).


Citation of Source

Place references to sources used in paper in notes, preferably footnotes (16.3)

Place all works that you used as sources as well as other works that you recommend to the reader in the Bibliography

Prefer notes to in-text citations (16.3)

Use endnotes or footnotes, preferably the latter (never use both in the same paper)

Use Microsoft© Word’s insert note function

Do not use Microsoft© Word’s bibliography function

Do not insert a note at the end of the title or any heading (16.32)

Insert note numbers only at the end of sentences (16.30)

In-text note numbers are superscript (16.25)

Notes may be smaller font size than text

In notes, numbers are normal sized, not superscript (16.25)

No period after note number in notes

For initial citation in notes, provide full information in notes (16.3) (see examples below)

For subsequent citation, use author last name, title of work (may be shortened), page number(s) if any (16.41–16.45)

For a note reference, separate elements with commas; for bibliography, separate elements with periods (16.15)

For note citations with two or more authors, list alphabetically and do not separate names with commas. However, use commas between names for bibliographic entries (16.11).

Use “headline” capitalization for titles (8.167, 16.17)

Do not use pages, p., or pp. in notes; numbers alone are sufficient (16.10, 16.13, 17.133, 17.168)

If referencing a note, use the abbreviation “n.” (e.g., “See chap. 1, n. 4.”) (16.43)

Use “ed.” when referring to edition or editor, “rev. ed.” for revised edition; place any number of “vols.” after edition information (17.79)

Use “chap.” when referring to entire chapter and “vol.” “vols.” for volume(s) (16.13, 17.79, 17.83–89, 17.132, 17.134)

Always give volume numbers in Arabic (e.g., vol. 5), even if in Roman (e.g., vol. V) in original (17.83); unless it is part of original title, e.g., Congress and the Nation Volume III

For ordinals in note references for editions, use 2d ed., 3d ed., 4th ed. (17.79)

Note on the Provenance

The Ben Burns Papers consist of two parts. Part I was donated in 1981 and includes reference files and the personal library of Ben Burns. Part I was processed by Deborah Holton in 1988. Approximately 135 linear feet, Part I includes materials dating from 1950 to 1979.

This finding aid captures the materials in Part II of the collection. Burns donated these materials throughout the 1990s; most of the materials were donated in April and May of 1995. The materials in Part II of the collection date from 1939 to 1999.

Biographical Note

Ben Burns had a long and distinguished career as “a white editor in black journalism.” He helped found Ebony and a number of other black publications and he trained many black writers in all aspects of print journalism. After working for black publications for thirty-five years, Burns referred to himself as “a black newspaperman, black in my orientation and thinking, in my concerns and outlook, in my friends and associations, black in everything but my skin color.” Burns summarized the influence that his experiences at black publications had on him: “I am a white man who has been passing for Negro for thirty-five years.”

Born Benjamin Bernstein on August 25, 1913 to Alexander, a housepainter, and Frieda Burns, Burns grew up on New York’s West Side. Burns attended New York University and received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University in 1934. He married Esther Stern on November 28, 1937 and they had three children, Barbara, Richard and Stephen.

Burns was the national editor of the Chicago Defender from 1941 - 1945, the editor of Negro Digest from 1942 - 1954, and the executive editor of Ebony from 1945 - 1954, Jet from 1950 – 1954, Sepia from 1955 - 1958and Guns magazine from 1956 - 1958. He was later the vice president of a public relations firm, Cooper, Burns and Golin, from 1958 – 1966. He returned to journalism as the editor of the Chicago Daily Defender from 1966 - 1967 and the editor of Sepia from 1968 - 1977.

Burns’ membership in the Young Communist League after his college years limited his employment opportunities in the world of journalism. As Burns explained, “I think I must be the only journalist who ever worked not just on the Daily Worker, but all three of the country’s communist newspapers. With credentials like that, I knew it wouldn’t do much good to apply to The Wall Street Journal.” When the Burns were expecting their first child and the left-wing publication that Burns was working for in San Francisco folded, the couple returned to Chicago and Burns accepted a job painting houses with his father. Burns was hired at the Chicago Defender as a temporary editor when the newspaper needed extra writers to publish the legendary “Victory Through Unity” edition in September 1942. From that first assignment, Burns studied the black community “almost like a sociologist, filling thousands of file folders with tidbits of information about who-was-who in Chicago’s Bronzeville and what organizations made the South Side neighborhood tick.” These files comprise the majority of this collection.

Before Burns got the job working at the Defender, he worked in public relations for Earl Dickerson, a local black politician who was running for Congress against William Dawson in 1942. It was at this time that Burns met John H. Johnson. Johnson was a young political assistant who wanted to create a black equivalent of Life magazine. While Johnson raised money to fund the magazine, Burns worked on assembling the fledgling publication. The first issue was assembled on the Burns’ kitchen table in their apartment on Jackson Boulevard in Chicago. In 1954, Burns was fired from Ebony. During the late 1960s, Burns continued his career in black journalism as the editor of a rival publication, Sepia.

From 1968 to his retirement from journalism in 1977, Burns was the editor of Sepia. Beginning in 1977, the Burns traveled extensively and co-wrote a number of travel articles, including one describing their travels to the slave castles of Ghana, for the Sun-Times and other publications.

In 1996, Burns published his autobiography, Nitty Gritty: A White Editor in Black Journalism, with the University Press of Mississippi. In 1997, Burns was named to the Hall of Achievement of his alma mater, the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

Burns died of heart failure at age 86 on January 29, 2000 in Atlantis, Florida.

Scope and Content Note

The Ben Burns Papers include a wide range of materials that reflect Burns’ career in journalism as well as his personal interests and pursuits. The collection consists of correspondence, photographs, manuscripts and over one thousand clippings. The collection has been arranged into the following six series: Correspondence, Manuscripts, Subject Research Files, Photographs, Audio-Visual/Oversize and Black Magazines and Various Publications.

The Vivian G. Harsh Collection at the Carter G. Woodson Regional Library holds the entirety of the Ben Burns Papers. Burns considered donating part of his collection to Northwestern University (his alma mater) but decided that the Harsh, given its location “in the heart of the black community,” was a more appropriate repository.

The Correspondence series consists of four subseries: The Chicago Defender Years, The Ebony Years, Sepia Business Correspondence, Nitty Gritty Correspondence and Personal Correspondence.

Subseries A. The Chicago Defender Years, 1941 – 1980
Burns began his career in journalism working at the Chicago Defender, where he was national editor from 1941 – 1945. This subseries includes an announcement of Burns as the new editor-in-chief of the Defender, correspondence between Burns and John Sengstacke regarding the remaking of the Defender and a number of letters from readers. Burns’ dispatches to Metz Lochard from the World Federation of Trade Unions Conference in Paris in 1945 are also included. These dispatches contain discussions of the conditions in South Africa and the difficulties that black workers faced in organizing unions. Photographs, business cards and the names and addresses of black delegates at the conference are also included.

Subseries B. The Ebony Years, 1938 – 1995
Burns was the executive editor of Ebony from 1945-1954. This subseries includes business correspondence, articles about Ebony and a review of Era Bell Thompson’s autobiography. Coverage of the disagreement about who prevented Richard Wright’s article, “I Choose Exile,” from being published in Ebony as well as other correspondence with Richard Wright regarding a production of Black Boy is contained in this subseries.

Subseries C. Sepia Business Correspondence, 1955 - 1977
In addition to issues such as disputes over payment, gentle reminders about overdue articles and discussions of the difficulties in finding skilled photographers, these files include a number of letters that express Burns’ editorial style and vision for Sepia. Some letters discuss Burns’ concerns about the ability of white journalists to write effectively for sophisticated black audiences. Rationales for the acceptance and rejection of articles are included as well as discussions of possible article ideas.

Subseries D. Nitty Gritty Correspondence, 1994 - 1996
This subseries includes correspondence between Burns and Seetha Srinivasan, Associate Director and Editor-in-Chief at the University Press of Mississippi. This correspondence tracks Burns’ disappointment in the “slashing and revising” done by the Press and his accusations that the copy editor, Roy Grisham, was especially “heavy-handed” during the editing process due to his southern background and his discomfort with the racial issues raised by Nitty Gritty. Discussions about graphic designs, photographs for the book cover and Burns’ changes to the manuscript are also included.

Subseries E. Personal Correspondence and Family Materials
This subseries contains personal correspondence and family materials including Burns’ daughter’s first or second grade composition and letters from elementary school students expressing their disbelief and interest in a white man who works for black publications. Copies of the Northwestern Observer and the Medillian are also included.

Series II: Manuscripts, 1955 - 1996
This series includes Burns’ autobiography, Nitty Gritty: A White Editor in Black Journalism, “Last Word” columns published in Sepia and an unpublished travel essay, “An African Diary.”

Series III: Subject Research Files, 1939 - 1999
This series consists of over one thousand clippings, reports and essays. This series is divided into five subseries that reflect the major subjects that interested Burns:

Subseries A: “Reaching the Negro Market”/African American Consumerism
This subseries includes lectures, pamphlets and reports published by Johnson Publishing Company as well as newspaper clippings and articles.

Subseries B: Interracial Marriage and Multiracial Identity
The articles in this subseries include discussions of census reports of the increase in interracial marriage (in the 1960s and 1970s), the Loving v. Virginia decision (1967), representations of interracial couples on soap operas, and the existence of historically mixed-race communities such as the “Jackson Whites” of Ramapo, New Jersey and the “Melungeons” of the Tennessee hill country. These clippings also discuss famous interracial couples including Margaret Rusk (Secretary of State Dean Rusk’s daughter) and Guy Smith.

Subseries C: Dawson/Dickerson Materials, 1938 - 1970
Burns worked on Earl Dickerson’s campaign when he ran for Congress against William Dawson in 1942. The materials in this subseries include copies of the publication, Voice of the First Congressional District, letters rallying support for Dickerson, Dickerson vs. Dawson flyers and other campaign materials as well as numerous articles from the Sun-Times and the Tribune on Dawson. Subseries D: Travel Ben and Esther Burns traveled extensively throughout their lives. This subseries contains travel documents related to their trips around the world as well as travel-related articles and clippings. Subseries E. Various Topics This subseries contains numerous clippings that reflect the wide variety of topics that interested Burns, including: affirmative action, anti-Semitism, assimilation, black English, black politics, Communism, Jews, prejudice, segregation, sex and white supremacy and word origins.

The collection contains 427 photographs. Highlights in this series include Esther and Ben Burns’ trips to Haiti in 1948 and to Europe in 1950 with John and Eunice Johnson. The couples hired renown photographer Gordon Parks to accompany them and to document their trip to Haiti. This series also includes photographs taken at Ebony magazine and include pictures of Burns with Josephine Baker.

This series consists of Burns’ collection of over one hundred records. Burns borrowed some of these records from famous people including Horace Cayton. Cassette tapes and video footage from the Burns’ and Johnsons’ vacations (“Ben Burns Europe Master 23 min,” “Burns Haiti Master 27 min,” “John H. Johnson & Ben Burns in Europe Spring 1950”) are also included in this series.

This series contains Ben Burns’ collection of publications that reflected his interests and includes magazines such as MsTique, Duke and CommonQuest as well as newspapers such as The Black Panther and the Daily Californian.

Container Inventory

Series I: Correspondence, 1945 – 1999

The correspondence series has been divided into five subseries: The Chicago Defender Years, The Ebony Years, Sepia

Leave a Comment


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *