Sherry Sherrod DuPree Collection

By James Cusick

The P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History is proud to announce a donation of books and papers on local Black history and religious history from professor, archivist, librarian, and author Sherry Sherrod DuPree. DuPree holds an MA in educational media from North Carolina Central University and an AMLS in academic librarianship from the University of Michigan.

Sherry Sherrrod DupreeHer career spans work at the University of Florida where she was project director for ten years with the Institute of Black Culture and a specialist in religion and African American history for the UF Libraries, and a 30-years as librarian and professor at Santa Fe College (1983-2013). She is an expert on the history of Pentecostalism, with collections at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Smithsonian, the Library of Congress, and the University of Southern California Libraries. A noted researcher on the history of Rosewood, Florida, the African-American community that was targeted by a white mob in 1923 in one of Florida’s worst mass-hate crimes, DuPree regularly conducts lectures and educational tours to teach the town’s legacy. She served on the State of Florida African American Task Force for 16 years and on the Historical Marker Board as a reader of African American markers for over 20 years. DuPree is married to Herbert Clarence DuPree, an educator, mathematics teacher, and retired principal for the Marion County school system, and is the mother of three sons, Amil, Andre, and Andrew.

The DuPree Papers at the University of Florida feature her Florida-based work. Among the projects DuPree regularly headed or took part in are seminars and workshops on the African Slave Trade sponsored through UNESCO and in cooperation with the Harn Museum; exhibits, school materials, and education tours about the history of Rosewood; work with the Haile Plantation, Dudley Farms, and the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings House related to the role of African Americans at those sites; and the history of Pentecostal churches and of gospel music in Florida. Her collection includes books on African American biography and history; research on Rosewood; research materials and writings on African-American Pentecostal churches in Florida; genealogical materials, notably funeral and memorial service notices for Alachua and surrounding counties; memorabilia and ephemera for cultural events and programs related to Black history in Alachua County; and her own writings and biographical materials.

Exhibit 2
Examples of panels from DuPree’s travel exhibit on Rosewood.

As a major advocate for the preservation of the memory of Rosewood, DuPree leads educational tours of the area and has produced exhibits and school materials documents the history of the African American community there. Rosewood was a rural community near a lumber mill operation near Cedar Key, Florida. Following reports that a Black resident had assaulted a white woman, a mob of whites attacked the town and its residents. Official reports put the death toll at six Black residents and two whites. The town itself was burned to the ground and never reoccupied. On two occasions the State of Florida has reopened investigations into the arson and killings, and in 1994 survivors of Rosewood and descendants succeeded in getting a bill for reparations passed through the Florida legislature. DuPree’s materials include her subject files, documentation of a Rosewood exhibit, and the booklet, “The Rosewood Massacre at a Glance” which reproduces newspaper articles from 1923. She also maintains a website, Remembering Rosewood, at http://rememberingrosewood.org/

Award for Excellence
Tribute for “Excellence” in religion from the Florida Conference of Black State Legislators, 1997.

Another section of DuPree’s papers reflect her long-term interest in Pentecostal studies. She became a member of the Church of God in Christ in 1981 and later was appointed to the Historical Archive Committee in 1988. She has served as editor for Pneuma, the academic journal of the Society of Pentecostal Studies (SPS) and became the first African American woman president of SPS. She has a major collection on Pentecostalism, comprising some 355 boxes of research materials, at the Smithsonian Institution, and this collection also formed the basis for her book African-American Holiness Pentecostal Movement: An Annotated Bibliography (Garland Publishing House, 1996). Portions of her papers and research are also curated at the Library of Congress, the University of Southern California Libraries, and the Schomburg. Her collection at the University of Florida contains research materials on the Pentecostal movement locally and regionally.

 

DuPree Holiness and Pentecostal Collection, University of Southern California Libraries, Digital Collection

 

Description of DuPree Collection at Smithsonian

 

Description of DuPree Collection at the Library of Congress

 

Sherry Sherrod DuPree Collection, Univerity of Wisconsin-Madison

 

 

DuPree Accepts 2021 Rosa Parks Award
Sherry Sherrod DuPree, winner of a Rosa Parks Quiet Courage Award, smiles as she receives the award from the Rev. Milford Griner, the founder and president of the award committee, during the ceremony held at Bartley Temple United Methodist Church, in Gainesville on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Credit: Gainesville Sun.

DuPree is the author of several books. In addition to her book on the Pentecostal Movement, she had published Biographical Dictionary of African-American Holiness-Pentecostals, 1880-1990 (Washington, D.C.: Middle Atlantic Regional Press, 1989); Exposed! FBI Unclassified Reports on Churches and Church Leaders (Washington, D.C.: Middle Atlantic Regional Press, 1993); and African-American Good News (Gospel) Music (Washington, D.C.: Middle Atlantic Regional Press, 1993).  Her first publication was Displays for Schools (1975), a guide to creating classroom displays and bulletin boards. She created the website A Road Map to African American and Diversity Resources highlighting a master list of accessible sources for scholastic research.

An African American Calendar: A Roadmap to African American & Diversity Resources (ARAADR)

 

DuPree is a past board member of the Matheson Museum/Alachua County Historical Society and the Cotton Club, Gainesville.  She was recognized by Santa Fe College in 1990 for outstanding research and writing, by the Florida Conference of Black Legislators in 1997 for excellence in religion, and received the Rosa Parks Quiet Courage Award in 2012, among other honors.

A guide to the Sherry Sherrod DuPree Papers at the University of Florida is currently in process. For questions or information, contact James Cusick, curator, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, jgcusick@ufl.edu.