Austin History Center

Sue Brandt McBee Collection of African American Culture

An Inventory of the Collection



Collection Summary

Creator: McBee, Sue Brandt
Title: Sue Brandt McBee Collection of African American Culture
Inclusive Dates: 1980-2003.
Abstract: Sue Brandt McBee Collection of African American Culture is an eclectic collection of artifacts and documents reflecting a half-century of African American cultural history.
Identification: AR.2001.020
Quantity: 9 linear ft.(18 boxes, 209 items)
Location: George Washington Carver Branch, Austin Public Library, 1161 Angelina Street, Austin, Texas 78702.
Repository: Austin History Center. Austin Public Library.

Biographical Sketch of Sue Brandt McBee

Sue Brandt McBee was born in Hamburg, Germany on September 23, 1923 and moved to Austin with her parents in the late 1920s. She learned to speak English while attending Pease Elementary School in Austin, Texas. When Sue entered Allan Junior High she became interested in journalism. Her first attempts at writing poetry were published in the school newspaper marking the beginning of her journalistic career.

In high school, she became the editor for the school newspaper, the Austin High Maroon. When she entered college at The University of Texas at Austin in the early 1940s, she continued to pursue her love of journalism. She wrote a weekly column titled “Life, Where is Thy Sting?” for the Daily Texan. While in college Sue married engineering student Frank McBee, the eldest son of South Austin Justice of the Peace Frank McBee Sr. After three years of accelerated course work Sue graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism degree in 1943.

Sue Brandt McBee is celebrated as a gifted communicator and tireless civic worker, and has been a vital part of the Austin community for much of her adult life. Her efforts to promote education and historic preservation have changed the face of the Austin community for the better. She has worked for the Austin American-Statesman and established the first corporate public relations office for Tracor, Inc. She was the founding president and instrumental fundraiser for the Austin History Center Association, and now serves as Honorary Chairman. In addition, she serves on the Advisory Council of The University of Texas Press—a publishing house for the University.


Scope and Contents of the Records

Contains an eclectic mix of artifacts pertaining to the African American culture in the United States and abroad, including newspaper clippings, antiquarian books, dolls, autographed celebrity photographs, audio cassettes, black memorabilia, and African art objects. The collection is 9 linear feet and reflects the collecting interests of Sue Brandt McBee. The clippings collection, that date from the 1980s to 2003, reflects her efforts to document the African American culture in Austin and the United States, including individuals, places and current events.


Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

Contact members of the George Washington Carver Branch staff to gain access to this collection.

Restrictions on Use

Items in this collection are non-circulating. Researchers may only use copies of newspaper clippings.


Index Terms

Persons:
Amos and Andy, (1951-1966).
Armstrong, Louis, (1901-1971).
Aunt Jemima, (1893).
Bannerman, Helen.
Barth, Christian Gottlob.
Basie, Count, (1904-1984).
Berry, Halle, (1968-).
Blake, Eubie, (1883-1983).
Brieger, Benjamin Franklin, Jr., (1925-2000).
Calloway, Cab, (1907-1994).
Chavis, Boozoo, (1930-2001).
Cottrell, Comer and Isabell, (1931-).
Foxx, Redd, (1922-1991).
French, Charles Jackson.
Garcia, Gustavo L., (1934-).
Gruelle, Johnny, (1880-1938).
Hines, Gregory, (1946-2003).
Horowitz, David, (1939-).
Houston, Whitney, (1963-).
Jemison, Noah.
Jones, James Earl, (1931-).
Jordan, Barbara, (1936-1996).
King, Martin Luther, Jr., (1929-1968).
Kittrell, Norman Goree, (1849-1927).
Lawrence, Jacob, (1917-2000).
Lewis, Joe, (1914-1981).
Mandela, Nelson, (1918-).
Maynard, Robert C., (-1993).
McBee, Frank, (1920-2000).
McBee, Sue Brandt, (1923-).
Miller, Dorie, (1919-1943).
Milwood, J. Ed.
Mullen, Harryette.
Prescott, Kenneth.
Primrose, George, (1869-1947).
Robinson, Bill “Bojangles”, (1878-1949).
Ross, Diana, (1944-).
Sargent, Ben.
Simond, Ada DeBlanc, (1903-1989).
Sissle, Noble, (1889-1975).
Smith, Bessie, (1898?-1937).
Smith, H. S.
Temple, Shirley, (1928-).
Thomas, Clarence, (1948-).
Vaughn, Sara, (1924-1990).
Vereen, Ben, (1946-).
Washington, Booker T., (1856-1915).
Williams, Joe, (1903-1982).
Williams, Vanessa, (1963-).
Wilson, Flip, (1933-1998).
Organizations:
Austin History Center Association.
National Association Advancement of Colored People.
National Conference on Christians and Jews.
National Organization for Women, Inc.
United Nations Children’s Fund.
Subjects:
African Americans—United States—Biography. [3 titles]
African Americans—United States—Biography—Dictionaries. [1 title]
African Americans—United States—Fiction. [1 title]
African Americans—United States—Interviews.
Places:
Austin (Tex.).
Document Types:
Books.
Ephemera.
Magazine clippings.
Magazines.
Newspaper clippings.
Photographs.
Titles:
Alcade, The.
American Way Magazine.
Among Friends of LBJ.
Austin Archives.
Beloved Belindy.
Black Expressions.
Cuff the Negro Boy.
D Magazine.
Ebony Magazine.
Eneas Africanus.
Footsteps.
Great Migration, The.
Heroes of the Dark Continent.
Let's Pretend: Mae Dee and Her Family on a Weekend in May.
Library Journal.
Life of John Brown.
Modern Maturity Magazine.
MS Magazine.
Ned, Nigger An' Gent'man.
New Yorker Magazine.
Nokoa Newspaper.
Oprah Magazine.
Parade Magazine.
Parson Eaph: Poet Philosopher.
People Magazine.
Playing Pranks on Negro Boys.
Preservation Magazine.
Story of Little Black Sambo, The.
Story of the Negro, The.
Time Magazine.
Tree Tall Woman.
Washing ton Post, The.

Related Material

Austin Files AF -- Biography-McBee, Frank Wilkins, Jr.

A 811.54 Ma AA. McBee, Sue Brandt. “Lines for a Texas Town,” Austin: Starbird Press, 1998.

McBee Family Papers AR.1991.051


Administrative Information

Custodial History

Donated by the collection creator, Sue Brandt McBee, local author and Honorary Chair of the Austin History Center Association, on August 9, 2001. During the renovation of the George Washington Carver Branch, Austin Public Library from 2004 to 2005, the collection was temporarily housed at the Austin History Center, Austin Public Library. Sue Brandt McBee continues to add to the collection.

Preferred Citation

Sue Brandt McBee Collection of African American Culture, George Washington Carver Branch, Austin Public Library, Austin, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/1966/030 Donation Date: 2001-08-09.

Processing Information

Initial Inventory and Preliminary Processing By Sue Soy and Karen Riles. Date: 2004-07-01.

Final Processing and Finding Aid By Karen Riles. 2005-06-01.


Detailed Description of the Collection

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

 

Series I Newspaper and Magazine Clippings.

box
01 Newspaper clippings.
box
02 Newspaper clippings.
box
03 Copies of newspaper clippings.
box folder
05 05 Biography: Ben Brieger.
(01 item).
box folder
09 07 Clipping: Nokoa Newspaper, “Former NAACP Leader Recalls Efforts”, June 13, 2002.
(02 items).
12 Magazine clippings.
12 Halle Berry.
(01 item).
12 Boozoo Chavis.
(01 item).
12 American Way Magazine.
(01 item).
12 Dressed to Kill (ad).
(01 item).
12 Diana Ross (ad).
(01 item).
12 People Magazine (cover).
(01 item).
box folder
9 13 Download: FrontPage Magazine article by David Horowitz.
(01 item).



 

Series II Books and Periodicals.

box
04
Book: Heroes of the Dark Continent, by H.S. Smith.
(01 item).
Book: The Story of the Little Black Sambo, by Helen Bannerman.
(01 item).
Book: The Story of the Negro, by Booker T. Washington.
(01 item).
Book: Cuff the Negro Boy, by Christian Gottlob Barth.
(01 item).
Book: Parson Eaph: Poet Philosopher, by J. Ed Milwood.
(01 item).
Book: Beloved Belindy, by Johnny Gruelle.
(01 item).
Book: Ned, Nigger An’ Gent’man, by Norman G. Kittrell.
(01 item).
Book: Let’s Pretend: Mae Dee and Her Family on a Weekend in May, by Ada DeBlanc Simond.
(01 item).
box
05
02 Book: Black Expressions, catalog.
(01 item).
07 Book: Austin Archives, publication Austin History Center Association.
(01 item).
04 Book: “Ballet in America”.
(01 item).
box
09
07 Serial: Parade. Sun April 30, 1989.
(01 item).
Book: Poems by Harryette Mullen, “Tree Tall Woman”.
(01 item).
Book: Footsteps:African American History, “Slavery at Mount Vernon.
(01 item).
Book: “The Great Migration,” illus. by Jacob Lawrence.
(01 item).
“Library Journal,” Fall 2001.
(01 item).
"Time." September 07, 1992.
(01 item).
"Time." September. 10, 2001.
(01 items).
Oprah. September 2001.
(01 item).
Oprah. August 2001.
(01 item).
Preservation. September/October 2001.
(01 item).
Modern Maturity. May/June 2001.
(01 item).
The Alcalde. July/August 2001.
(01 item).
The Washington Post. September 9, 2001.
(01 item).
box
10
Among Friends of LBJ. No date.
(01 item).
D Magazine. June 1981.
(01 item).
Ebony. August 1980.
(01 item).
Ebony. May 1981.
(01 item).
Ebony. September 1984.
(01 item).
Ebony. October 1984.
(01 item).
Ebony. November 1984.
(01 item).
Ebony. December 1984.
(01 item).
Ebony. January1985.
(01 item).
Ebony. February1985.
(01 item).
Ebony. March 1985.
(01 item).
Ebony. April 1985.
(02 item).
Ebony. June 1985.
(01 item).
Ebony. July 1985.
(01 item).
MS. December 1985.
(01 item).
New Yorker. April 23, 1979.
(01 item).
New Yorker. October 10, 1983.
(01 item).
Oprah: An Unofficial Tribute. 2000.
(01 item).
The Spartan Saga: Focus on St. Stephen’s. Fall 2000.
(01 item).
Times. December 12, 1982.
(01 item).
Times. January 16, 1984.
(01 item).
Times. April 11, 1988.
(01 item).
Times. March 13, 1989.
(01 item).
box
14
Eneas Africanus.
(01 item).
Playing Pranks on Negro Boys.
(01 item).
Life of John Brown.
(01 item).



 

Series III Collectibles.

box folder
05 01 Flyer: “The Count Basie Orchestra with Joe Williams”.
(01 item).
06 Antique valentine: “To My Love”.
(01 item).
08 Program: “National Conference on Christians and Jews”
(01 item).
09 Sheet Music: “Denison’s Opening Choruses and Finales All-Around”.
(01 item).
10 Playbill: “One Mo’ Time”.
(01 items)
11 Booklet: “Address by Robert C. Maynard.
(01 item).
12 Stereograph: “On the March”.
(01 item).
box folder
05 12 Stereograph: “Recreation Time”.
(01 item).
box folder
05 13 Greeting Card: “Sure, I Believe You’re Only 29!”.
(01 item).
13 Greeting Card: “Honey It’s True”.
(01 item).
14 Photograph: George Primrose.
(01 item).
14 Slides: Artwork by Noah Jemison. 1972,1977,1980.
(01 item).
15 Ad: Hyde’s Drug Store.
(01 item).
15 Ad: Clark’s Mile-End Spool.
(01 item).
15 Photograph: Barbara Jordan.
(01 item).
15 Photograph: Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle.
(01 item).
15 Photograph: Bessie Smith. 1925.
(01 item).
15 Photograph: Unknown Black lady holding a white baby.
(01 item).
15 Photograph: Louis Armstrong .
(01 item).
16 Photograph: Louis Armstrong.
(01 item).
15 Photograph: Unknown Black boy sitting on a bench.
(01 item).
16 Photograph: Sara Vaughn. 1924.
(01 item).
16 Photograph: Shirley Temple and Bill Bojangles’ Robinson.
(01 item).
17 Illustration: Harper’s Weekly. (March 16, 1867).
(01 item).
18 Political flyer: “Gus Garcia for State Board of Education”.
(01 item).
18 Photograph: Vanessa Williams.
(01 item).
18 Photograph: Vanessa Williams
(01 item).
18 Photograph: Unknown Black woman c.1880s.
(01 item).
19 Playbill: Imperial Theater.
(01 item).
19 Playbill: Cort Theater.
(01 item)..
19 Playbill: Plymouth Theater.
(01 item).
19 Playbill: Lunt-Fontanne Theater.
(02 items).
19 Playbill: Eugene O’Neil Theater.
(01 item).
19 Playbill: Munskoff Theatre.
(02 items).
box folder
05 19 Playbill: Nederlander Theatre.
(01 item).
box folder
06 N/A Doll: Zapf—Made in West Germany.
(01 item).
box folder
07 N/A Hand fan: Fuller-Sheffield Funeral Home.
(01 item).
N/A Hand fan: Girling Health Care, Inc.
(01 item).
N/A Hand fan: Phillip and Upshaw Funeral Home.
(01 item).
N/A Hand fan: Harlem Cab Company.
(02 items).
N/A Hand fan: Williams Auto Repair.
(01 item).
N/A Doll: Paper dolls.
(01 item).
N/A Puppet: Cardboard, poseable male figure with black cloth face and arms wearing boots, poka dot shirt and pants, and a red flower vest.
(01 item).
box folder
08 N/A Doll: Wooden, poseable, decorated with beads, human hair holding a basket of nuts.
(01 item).
box folder
09 01 Doll: Wooden, poseable, decorated with beads, human hair holding a basket of nuts.
(01 item).
01 Postcard.
(01 item).
01 Postcard.
(01 item).
01 Postcard.
(01 item).
01 Postcard.
(01 item).
01 Postcard.
(01 item).
01 Ad: “Dr. La Mott Sanford”.
(01 item).
01 Greeting card: “A Pastoral Visit, Virginia 1881”.
(01 item).
02 Small box containing 2 Christmas ornaments of a boy and a tiger.
(02 items).
03 Brochure: “The Urban Slave Experience”.
(01 item).
04 Booklet: “Hale House: Alive with Love”.
(01 item).
05 Sheet music: “Tho’t You Ought to Know”.
(01 item).
05 Sheet music: “I Want a Little Doggie”.
(01 item).
05 Cut out of Louis Armstrong.
(01 item).
06 African charm: “Clockbird”.
(01 item).
06 Magnet: Gold Dust Washing Powder.
(01 item).
07 Magnet
(01 item).
08 Ben Sargent original political cartoon about Clarence Thomas. 1991.
(01 item).
09 Letter of Release signed by Cab Calloway.
(01 item).
10 Invitation to tribute to Comer and Isabell Cottrell.
(01 item).
10 UNICEF flier: “The Life or Death Seed Catalog.
(01 item).
10 UNICEF letter.
(01 item).
10 Letter addressed to Frank McBee from Kenneth Prescott.
(01 item).
10 Letter addressed to Sue Brandt McBee from National Organization for Women, Inc.
(01 item).
11 Lithograph: Charles Jackson French.
(01 item).
11 Lithograph: Dorie Miller.
(01 item).
box folder
11 N/A Doll: Soft sculpture wearing yellow and beige dress with yellow headdress and necklace.
(01 item).
01 Doll: Soft sculpture, wearing pink dress.
(01 item).
box folder
12 N/A Doll: Black woman wearing a multicolored dress with matching headdress holding a fruit wreath.
(01 item).
N/A Doll: Black baby doll dressed in red overalls and red/white checked shirt and red/white hat.
(01 item).
box folder
13 N/A Doll: Boy wearing black and white checked fabric with red trim.
(01 item).
N/A Doll: Black girl in poka dot dress with straw hat and metal stand.
(01 item).
N/A Doll: Zimbawe woman holding a straw basket on her head with beaded necklace.
(01 item).
box folder
14 N/A Art object: Carved ebony wood and ivory letter opener.
(01 item).
N/A Artifact: Doll’s small straw hat.
(01 item).
box folder
15 N/A Doll: Raggedy Ann.
(01 item).
box folder
16 N/A Doll: Nun.
(01 item).
box folder
17 N/A Shirt: T-Shirt (Martin Luther King).
(01 item).
N/A Shirt: T-Shirt (Nelson Mandela).
(01 item).
N/A Cloth: Yellow w/gold threads.
(01 item).
N/A Paper:White w/embedded leaves (handmade).
(01 item).
box folder
On permanent display. N/A Doll: voodoo, soft sculpture male figure wearing a scarf, gold shirt, blue jean pants. 12 inches tall.
(01 item).
box folder
On permanent display N/A Doll: Zapf creation girl doll with combination plastic head and soft sculpture body wearing brown and cream-colored smock top. 20 inches.
(01 item).
box folder
On permanent display. N/A Doll: Combination plastic and soft sculpture baby wearing a hat with red overhauls, red and white plaid shirt. 15 inches.
(01 item).
N/A Christmas Ornament: Girl eating watermelon. 3.5 inches.
(01 item).
N/A Christmas Ornament. Boy 4 inches eating watermelon.
(01 item).
N/A Figurine: Cabbage Patch miniature figurines child in adult clothing 2.5 inches.
(01 item).
N/A Figurine: Cabbage Patch miniature figurine: boy baby with pacifier in mouth 2.5 inches.
(01 item).
N/A Figurine: Cabbage Patch miniature: Boy doing hand stand 2.5 inches.
(01 item).
N/A Figurine: African Sculpture: Man in boat 3 inches wood and metal like brass.
(01 item).
N/A Doll: with Head dress Pink suit 8.5 inches.
(01 item).
N/A Doll: Gold and white voodoo doll from Louisiana or the Caribbean. 16 inches.
(01 item).
N/A Neck pendant from the Baule Tribe still packaged. 2.5 inches.
(01 item).
N/A Cigarette ashtray ceramic depicting 3 gift wrap boxes with words “ashes, matches, cigarettes” and 4 black children peeping out of the boxes: 2.75 x 5 inches.
(01 item).
N/A Doll: Soft sculpture black with necklace and yellow loincloth. 8 inches.
(01 item).
N/A Doll: Soft sculpture of child eating watermelon polka dot top red and white and red, white and blue striped britches. 5 inches.
(01 item).
N/A Doll: Topsy Turvey from 1930s; one side black doll and one side white doll. 11 inches c.1930s.
(01 item).
N/A Puppet: cardboard and cloth black man puppet. 20 inches.
(01 item).
N/A Doll: Soft sculpture girl doll with pink shoes and pink ribbons in hair, not wearing clothing. 21 inches.
(01 item).
N/A Thermometer of a black boy child; Brown ceramic. 5.5 inches.
(01 item).
N/A Doll: ceramic poseable figure looks like a boy child. 5 inches.
(01 item).
N/A Doll: Package of paper dolls w/clothes.
(01 item).
N/A Doll: Bendable wooden female dressed in striped blouse and skirt, holding a basket of nuts in right hand and a braided cord in the left. 20 inches.
(01 item).
N/A Hand fan: “These Americans Died for Freedom”.
(01 item).
N/A Doll: Black cloth male dressed in farmer’s clothing. Blue paisley shirt with pinstriped overalls. Cream color metal stand. 16.5 inches.
(01 item).
N/A Doll: Black cloth Aunt Jemima dressed in a red and white check dressed in a red and white checked dress with a green checked apron. Posed on a metal gray stand. 14.5 inches.
(01 item).
N/A Doll: bendable carved wood male figure wearing faded green pants and a red shirt. 13.5 inches.
(01 item).
N/A Hand fan: “Learning Together”.
(01 item).
N/A Hand fan—“Praising God”.
(01 item).
N/A Collectible: doll’s straw hat with red trim and a black band. 2 inches .
(01 item).
N/A Collectible: brown wooden doll’s chair. 9.5 inches.
(01 item).
N/A Hand fan: “Nature’s Beauty”.
(01 item).
N/A Coffee Tin: Nigger Hair Tobacco Chewing Tobacco. 5.5 x 6.75 inches c.1940s.
(01 item).
N/A Figure: Black man dressed in Civil War—looks Union. 9 x 2 inches.
(01 item).
N/A Doll: Flip Wilson soft sculpture doll with pull string. 10.5 inches tall.
(01 item).
N/A Doll: Two sided doll soft sculpture Red Fox doll. 16 inches tall .
(01 item).
N/A Hand Puppet: Joe Lewis hand puppet, green & white striped top with boxing gloves; head and gloves plastic that appears to be decomposing. 7.25 inches tall.
(01 item).
N/A Doll: Dressed in African attire with hat and multi-colored dress. 12 inches.
(01 item).
N/A Doll: wearing red bandanna with polka dots and has one earring; dressed with floral pattern. 13 inches.
(01 item).
N/A Doll: Voodoo doll soft sculpture woman and child woven fabric: 13 inches.
(01 item).
N/A Doll: Soft Sculpture and Plastic boy doll; really old wearing blue and check one-piece outfit. 15 inches.
(01 item).
N/A Doll: Raggedy Ann African American wearing paisley blouse and white apron with red rickrack. 25 inches.
(01 item).
N/A Doll: part of pair girl and boy soft sculpture girl with purple dress with pattern. 4 inches.
(01 item).
N/A Doll: Posable girl doll with poka dot dress and hat on stand on stand: 10 inches.
(01 item).
N/A Doll: Male doll soft sculpture figure with red corduroy jacket: 12 inches.
(01 item).
N/A Doll: Zimbabwe— woman figure on stand wearing traditional dress with basket of flowers on her head: 9 inches.
(01 item).



 

Series IV African Artifacts.

box
On permanent display. Nail fetish figure, carved of wood statue with iron nails, burlap covered straw balls and loosely wrapped overall in a raffia network.
29 inches.
Carved ebony figure comprise of five intertwined male figures.
15.5 inches.
Melanesian carved limewood figure of a masked man with a hornbill atop his head, painted in polychrome, white, black, orange-red, and has cowry shell eyes in the mask as well as in the hornbill.
21 inches.
Soft sculpture of a woman with beaded facial features, hair and jewelry. Wearing a red dress and five layer gold necklace.
Height 18 inches.
Carved ebony figural group includes a standing male with a loincloth and a backpack. At his right is a diminutive standing adult female figure dressed in a sarong type garment.
19 inches.
Pair of fired terra cotta busts depicting an African woman and man. Female bust is signed "Gibson"
3.25 inches.
Figural weights made of cast bronze or brass of a man and woman seated across a table from each other.
3 inches.
Bronze or brass figural weight group of three men in a boat with oars.
2 inches.
Bronze or brass figural weight of a man on horseback with a spear piercing another man on the ground.
3 inches.
Black metal stand
2.5 inches at base.
Artifact: Weight design Ashanti used to weigh gold dust when boy child comes of age: African Weight gold in bronze or brass still packaged.
1.5 inches.



 

Series V Audio Tape.

box
Box 14. “Amos and Andy Broadcast”.
Cassette tape.



 

Series VI Autographed Celebrity Photographs.

box folder

09
01 James Earl Jones.
(01 item).
09 Certificate of Authenticity for autographed photos.
(01 item).
09 Gregory Hines.
(01 item).
09 Ben Vereen.
(01 item).
09 Whitney Houston.
(01 item).