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John W. Brooks Oral History Interview, March 22, 1978, April 12, 1978, April 21, 1978

Oral History #OH0050

Descriptive Summary Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Title: John W. Brooks Oral History Interview
Creators: Brooks, John W.
Lennon, Donald R.
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Extent: 0.02 Cubic feet, 4 audiocassettes, 5.25 hours, 92 pages .

Administrative Information Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

General note


Access Restrictions

No restrictions

Copyright Notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Preferred Citation

John W. Brooks Oral History Interview (#OH0050), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Acquisition Information

  • Gift of John W. Brooks

Processing Information

  • Processed by L. Harris; M. Boccaccio, April 1987

  • Encoded by Apex Data Services

Description Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

John W. Brooks (b. February 18, 1899) discusses his early family life in North and South Carolina as the son of an evangelist minister (p. 1-8) and his education at Falcon Christian School and Holmes Theological School (p. 9). Brooks and his family spent their first ministries in South Africa in Krugersdorp, Transvaal, and Natal. He discusses farm towns, living conditions in native towns, jobs for Blacks, and the multitude of tribal languages (p. 10-13). As Superintendent of the Missionary Conference from 1925 to 1926, he was able to visit many native churches and discusses tribal structure and life in general as well as customs of polygamy (p. 35-36), marriage rituals (p. 36-39), and initiation into manhood (p. 43-45). Contracts for native mine workers, their compounds, and living arrangements are discussed (p. 21-25). Missionary work in the compounds and in the tribal villages is discussed throughout the interview. The provision of education for natives through Sunday schools, mission schools, and a teacher's school are detailed (p. 23, 45, 71-72) as is the mission school's gradual takeover by the Native Education Department. Aftereight years in the United States (1947-1954) Brooks returned to Nigeria where he organized and operated an African Bible College to train native ministers, 1957. Differences and occasional friction between the various Christian denominations (p. 70-73) are noted as is the difference in treatment of black ministers (p. 63-70), Rev. K. E. M. Spooner being one example. The slave trade (p. 48) is discussed as are apartheid and discrimination in various contexts. Also discussed is the rural economy, including farming, hunting, and barter, in South Africa (p. 39-40) as opposed to the Nigerian system of tribal land ownership, the ability to buy and sell land in Lagos and lease land in other parts of the country (p. 76-80). The Nigerian work ethic is also noted (p. 87-88).

Online access to this finding aid is supported with funds created through the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). These funds come through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services which is administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. This grant is part of the North Carolina ECHO, Exploring Cultural Heritage Online, Digitization Grant Program.

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This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Special Collections Division, J.Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University. The materials described here are physically available in our reading room. None of the original documents in this collection are digitally available online at this time.
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