T.M. Berry Project: Trouble in Anti-Poverty Paradise

By Laura Laugle

Thus far in the archival project of Theodore Berry’s papers I have found almost no controversy surrounding him or his career. This surprises me not only because he was a politician, a member of a group of people who seem completely unable to keep themselves out of trouble for any length of time, but also because he was an African-American holding high office in an already controversial federal agency, the Community Action Program, during the mid-late 1960s. That is, I’d found no controversy until I came across this article.

"Shriver Wasn't Told of War On Poverty Memo" Continue reading

T.M. Berry Project: Mod In The Mountains

By Laura Laugle

Much of my time lately has been spent buried deep in the remnants of the everyday business of the Office of Economic Opportunity, where official government policies and memoranda abound. Though all of it is informative, to say that I find every item I come across riveting would be untrue. Luckily, a few striking photographs caught my attention and cried out for a closer look.

A young family pictured in their new home in Berea, KY. I’m especially fond of the kitchen. Those robin’s egg blue appliances would probably sell for thousands in an upscale vintage shop. Très mod-chic!

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T.M. Berry Project: HMM. . .

Unidentified Object from Berry CollectionBy Laura Laugle

My work on the Berry Project for much of this week can be best summed up by one word: “wonder.” Many factors have contributed to this conclusion. Unfortunately one of them is “I wonder what on Earth that is!” (Please feel free to tell me if you have any idea what the metal object pictured could be, because I haven’t the foggiest.) For the most part though, I’m referring to the almost constant sense that I’m reading a great epic novel, except that its chapters are all out of order. For instance, I’ve come across items linking Theodore Berry with arguably three of the most influential public figures of the 1960s: John F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Henry Kissinger. Continue reading

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