Bryant Family Papers

Three men in suits with medalions and five women in dresses sit on and stand behind a small sofa a small sofa
Group photograph (front row, left to right): Chickie Wysinger, A. Philip Randolph, Florence Bryant, (back row, left to right): Florence Harrison, C. L. Dellums, Viola Burnes, M.P. Webster, Mrs. Wade Johnson,1951, Bryant Family papers, MS 164, African American Museum & Library at Oakland, Oakland Public Library.
Dates: 1916-2017 (bulk 1916-1990)
Bulk Dates: 1916-1990
Collection number: MS 164
Creator: Smith, Jackie Bryant
Collection Size: 5.6 linear feet (5 boxes + 3 oversized boxes + 8 artworks)

Guide to the Bryant Family Papers

Available at the African American Museum & Library at Oakland (AAMLO)

James J. Bryant was born to George and Addie Bryant in Perry, Kansas, on January 16, 1888, the second son among five brothers. Florence Bryant was born to Henry and Liza Stevens in Linn Creek, Missouri, on January 21, 1894, the youngest of six children. The Bryants were married in Wichita, Kansas, on June 28, 1916 and moved to Oakland in 1938. James was a long-time sleeping car porter for the Pullman Company and active in the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. Florence was named Oakland’s inaugural Mother of the Year in 1954 and was active in organizations such as the March of Dimes. James J. Bryant passed away on March 27, 1976, and Florence Bryant passed away on August 29, 1985. Jackie Bryant Smith, one of five daughters of James J. and Florence Bryant, was born on June 5, 1941, in Oakland and was active with the NAACP.

The Bryant Family Papers include correspondence, records, realia, publications, and photographs that document aspects of the family's work life, social life, and political activities.

The papers are organized into six series: James J. Bryant, Florence Bryant, Jackie Bryant Smith, Photographs, NAACP, and Printed Material.

We encourage researchers to contact AAMLO before visiting so that we can be prepared to assist you. Please call 510-637-2000 or email to arrange an appointment or inquire about access.