The P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History is proud to announce a donation of books and papers from professor, archivist, librarian, and author Sherry Sherrod DuPree.
DuPree’s career encompasses 10 years as project director with the Institute of Black Culture, University of Florida, service in the UF Libraries as a specialist for religion and African American history, and 30 years as librarian and professor at Santa Fe College (1983-2013). She holds an MA in educational media from North Carolina Central University and an AMLS in academic librarianship from the University of Michigan. DuPree 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.
DuPree first became aware of the story of Rosewood in the 1970s and began researching it in the 1980s. Rosewood was a rural Florida community whose residents were employed in timber-cutting and pencil mill operations serving Cedar Key. Originally settled by whites and blacks, it became an African American community over time. In 1923, following unfounded reports that a black resident had assaulted a white woman, a mob of whites attacked the town and its residents. Official investigations put the death toll at six black residents and two whites. The town itself was burned to the ground and was never reoccupied. On two occasions the State of Florida has reopened inquiries 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/
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 Associate Editor of 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).
DuPree is the author of numerous books. In addition to her book on the Pentecostal Movement, she has 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); African-American Good News (Gospel) Music (Washington, D.C.: Middle Atlantic Regional Press, 1993); and A Compendium: Bishop C.H. Mason, Founder of the Church of God in Christ (African American Holiness Pentecostal Research Project, 2017).
She was a contributor to the Directory of African American Religious Bodies: A Compendium by the Howard University School of Divinity, Wardell J. Payne, editor (Howard University Press, 1991). Her first publication was Displays for Schools (1975), a guide to creating classroom displays and bulletin boards.
DuPree is a past board member of the Matheson Museum/Alachua County Historical Society and the Cotton Club Museum and Cultural Center, Gainesville. She has conducted oral history interviews with the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program. In 1990, she was recognized by Santa Fe College for outstanding research and writing, received an award of excellence in religion from the Florida Conference of Black Legislators in 1997, and was awarded the Rosa Parks Quiet Courage Award in 2012, among other honors.
She maintains a website of resources on African American history developed during her time as a librarian.
For information on her collections about Pentecostalism, see the following links:
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, email@example.com.