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Coombs, Orde, 1975 - 1977

 Item — Multiple Containers

Scope and Contents

Writer and editor Orde Coombs delivered 2 lectures on 9/23/1975 (2015-0002/RR123) and on 3/22/1977 (2015-0002/RR125 reel 2). RR 124 is a duplicate of 2015-0222/RR125.

RR 123 Edward O'Connor begins with information about the class including a clarification about the composer of a piece performed by Raoul Abdul, who was the previous week's lecturer. The question posed was "Who was Hale Smith?" and O'Connor provides an extensive list of Smith's accomplishments. Smith introduces the evening's speaker by explaining how they met--Orde Coombs. Coombs began with his personal background and history that led to his current career. [mislabeled as Bill Cole but the date is presumed to be correct.]

RR 125 Edward O'Connor provides a brief introduction of Orde Coombs. Coombs spoke about an appreciation of "Roots," both the book and the film. He wanted to speak about them because most writers aren't usually able to make a living from their work--but "Roots" was very popular, so maybe the pen is mightier than the sword. Coombs used "Roots" as a lens through which to view his own roots. [124 and RR125 are same program]


  • 1975 - 1977

Conditions Governing Access

Links to digitized content are included in the finding aid.

Biographical / Historical

Coombs was born on Saint Vincent in the Caribbean in 1939. He received his B.A. degree from Yale University in 1965, where he was the first black student initiated into the secret society Skull and Bones. He earned his M.A. degree from New York University in 1971. He then worked as an editor for Doubleday & Company and later for McCall Corporation. In addition to editing, he produced documentaries on West Indian culture, and was an adjunct professor at New York University. He was a co-host for Black Conversations, a talk show on WPIX in 1975. His publications include Do You See My Love for You Growing? (1972), Drums of Life (1974, with Chester Higgins Jr.), Sleep Late With Your Dreams (1977), and Some Time Ago: A Historical Portrait of Black Americans from 1850–1950 (1980, with Chester Higgins Jr.). Coombs was the editor of We Speak as Liberators: Young Black Poets (1970), What We Must See: Young Black Storytellers (1971) and Is Massa Day Dead? Black Moods in the Caribbean (1974).

Coombs died in August 1984 at the age of 45.

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3 Reels (Magnetic tape audio recordings ) : RR 123 2 sides; side A-1:04:15; side B-0:13:03; tape speed 3¾ IPS; track position ½-Track Mono; Substrate: Polyester. Combined for ease of listening 1:17:14. RR 124 (Same program as RR 125) RR 125 0:32:22; ; tape speed 3¾ IPS; track position ½-Track Mono; Substrate: Polyester.

Language of Materials

From the Series: English