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Guide to the Hickerson Family Papers
MS 167  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The Hickerson Family Papers includes photographs, newspaper clippings, cards, programs, certificates, and musical scores related to the Hickerson and Swayzee families and their friends. The papers also document the Hickerson Family's involvement with the Oakland, CA First African Methodist Episcopal (First A.M.E.) Church and other Christian and civic organizations. The papers are arranged in five series: Dorothy Harris Hickerson, Joseph W. Hickerson, Religious Activities, Assorted Print Material and Publications. The photographs are arranged in four subseries: Dorothy Hickerson Harris, Family Portraits, First African Methodist Episcopal (1st AME) Church, and Assorted.
Background
Joseph William Hickerson (1883-1971) was born Wilkesboro, North Carolina. His first wife Florence Hickerson (née Swayze) (1888?-1944) was born sometime in Louisiana between 1888-1890. They married in 1912 and had two daughters, Emma Hickerson (1913-1918) and Dorothy Hickerson Harris (1916-1989). Emma died of pneumonia at the age of 5. Both Joseph and Florence were members of the First African Methodist Episcopal (First AME) Church of Oakland, California and of the Acacia Lodge no. 7 of the Prince Hall Masonic Lodge. In 1944 Florence died, however the family papers include no documentation as to the cause of her death. Joseph later married Vivian A. Hickerson. Again, the family papers do not include documentation of Vivian's maiden name or the date of the marriage. Vivian was married to Joseph at the time of his retirement in 1948. Joseph worked for the United States Mint in San Francisco, California retiring in 1948. In interviews with local newspapers, he expressed a desire to spend more time on his hobbies which included fishing and fixing toys for neighborhood children. His memorial service took place at the First AME Church in 1971, and his pallbearers were members of the Brothers of the Acacia Lodge. During her youth, Dorothy was an active participant in the First AME church and the YWCA. She later became a member of the California Association of Colored Women and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). In 1950 she married Louis Harris at the First AME Church. Throughout her life, Dorothy remained a member of the First AME Church.
Extent
2.5 linear feet (3 boxes + 1 oversized box)
Restrictions
Permission to publish from the Hickerson Family Papers must be obtained from the African American Museum & Library at Oakland.
Availability
No access restrictions. Collection is open to the public.