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|Size||3 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 700 items)|
|Abstract||The Eloise Vaughn Papers, 1996-2008, consists chiefly of materials documenting the publication and promotion of the book Keep Singing: Two Mothers, Two Sons, and Their Fight Against Jesse Helms, which chronicles the loss of her and co-author Patsy Clarke's sons to AIDS in the early 1990s. There are also some materials related to the grassroots organization Mothers Against Jesse In Congress (MAJIC) that they created to thwart Senator Helms' reelection in 1996. Acquired as part of the Southern Historical Collection.|
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Eloise Vaughn and Patsy Clarke, two white women, co-authored the book, Keep Singing: Two Mothers, Two Sons, and Their Fight Against Jesse Helms, chronicling the loss of their sons to AIDS in the early 1990s. Vaughn's son Mark died in 1990. Clarke's son, also named Mark, died in 1994. In the years after her son's death, Vaughn worked to provide support to many mothers who had lost children to the disease, which is how she met Clarke.
Patsy Clarke and her husband Harry Clarke, until he was killed in a 1987 plane crash, had been prominent Republican party members and long-time friends of Senator Jesse Helms. Following the death of her son, Patsy Clarke wrote a letter to Helms asking him to soften his public anti-gay stance. Helms responded saying, "I wish he had not played Russian roulette in his sexual activity." The letter angered Clarke and galvanized her drive to organize opposition to Helms. Clarke and Vaughn wrote the book and started a grassroots organization called Mothers Against Jesse in Congress (MAJIC) to thwart his reelection to the United States Senate in 1996.Back to Top
The Eloise Vaughn Papers, 1996-2008, consists chiefly of materials relating to the publication of Keep Singing: Two Mothers, Two Sons, and Their Fight Against Jesse Helms, which chronicles the loss of her and co-author Patsy Clarke's sons to AIDS in the early 1990s. Collection materials include a manuscript draft, press kits and clippings, files on the subsequent book tour, speeches, letters and cards in response to the book, and copies of Clarke's first letter to Helms and his response. There is also background information on Jesse Helms, including newspaper clippings and member and donation files relating to Mothers Against Jesse In Congress (MAJIC), a grassroots organization Vaughn and Clark created to thwart Helms' reelection to the United States Senate. Cassettes of radio interviews, 2001 and undated, are included, as well as a videotape of a 1996 commercial for MAJIC.Back to Top
|Oversize Paper Folder OPF-05602/1|
This Way Out: the international lesbian and gay radio magazine, program #690, 18 June 2001 #5602, Series: "Eloise Vaughn Papers, 1996-2008." C-05602/3
Eloise Vaughn and Patsy Clarke are interviewed by Steve Pride in the third segment of this program.
This summary description was created in October 2017 to provide information about unprocessed materials in Wilson Special Collections Library.
Encoded by: Laura Smith
Updated by: Amy Morgan and Jodi Berkowitz, April 2019Back to Top