Inventory of the Rosslee Tenetha Green Douglas Papers, 1934 - 2005

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Descriptive Summary

Abstract: Rosslee Tenetha Green Douglas, (1928-2011) was an African-American nurse, health administrator, and two-time presidential appointee during the Ronald Reagan Presidential Administration. Green Douglas attended Avery Institute, Class of 1947; Lincoln School for Nurses (1952) and was the first African-American graduate from the College of Nursing, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston (M.U.S.C) in 1972. She served as an administrator for the Franklin Fetter Family Health Center, and served on the South Carolina Industrial Commission, also becoming the first African-American to serve in that capacity. Green Douglas was selected as the Director of the Office of Minority Economic Impact, United States Department of Energy, (1981), becoming the first African-American female appointee under the Reagan Administration.
The Green Douglas Papers contain brief documents and photographs relating her position as Director of the Office of Minority Economic Impact, U.S. Department of Energy (1981-1986). Included are letters written by Senator Strom Thurmond and former South Carolina Governor James B. Edwards to Douglas. The collection also holds documents and photographs of the Avery Institute Class of 1947 Reunion (2002).
Title: Rosslee Tenetha Green Douglas Papers
Creator: Douglas, Rosslee Tenetha Green.
Call Number: AMN 1132
Repository: Avery Research Center
Dates: 1934-2005
Bulk: 1981-2002
Language of Material: Material is in English
Extent: 0.5 linear foot
(1 archival box)

Biographical Note

Rosslee Tenetha Green Douglas (1928-2011) was born to Rozenia and Anglin Green in Florence County, South Carolina. Green's youth was spent in Charleston, South Carolina, with her education at the Buist School and the Avery Institute, (high school division). Green initially focused on a nursing career, completing her training at Dillard University, New Orleans, Louisiana in 1948, and the Lincoln School for Nurses, New York. During her time at Lincoln, she met and married Earl Walton Douglas in 1952. After graduation, Green Douglas worked as a nurse at the New York City Department of Hospitals, and as a Visiting Nurse and Supervisor of Nursing at Brookdale and Bedford Hospitals in Brooklyn, New York.

Green Douglas returned to South Carolina in 1969 and graduated with honors from the College of Nursing, Medical University of South Carolina (M.U.S.C) in 1972, becoming the first African-American graduate. She served as an administrator for the Franklin Fetter Family Health Center, where she established the regulations to license home health care agencies in South Carolina. Green Douglas was appointed by South Carolina Governor James B. Edwards to the State Industrial Commission in 1978, also becoming the first African-American to serve in that capacity.

Douglas was sworn in as Director of the Office of Minority Economic Impact, United States Department of Energy (DOE), on May 29, 1981. She became the Ronald Reagan Administration's first African-American female appointee, responsible for implementation of Executive Order 12320 signed on September 15, 1981, title "Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)." The order required federal agencies to significantly increase HBCU participation in federally sponsored programs. As director, Green Douglas helped establish a minority bank development program and provided financial aid to African-American colleges and universities. In 1984, President Reagan appointed her to serve on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday Commission, established to plan the January 1986 celebration. In 1985, Green Douglas was appointed by the Secretary of Energy to serve on the Health and Human Services Family Violence Committee. She returned to Charleston in 1986 and served as a volunteer nurse at a clinic for the homeless and eventually as an administrator for the Women's Information Children's Program, established by the Department of Health and Environmental Control.

In recognition of her lifetime achievements, Green Douglas was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters from the Medical University of South Carolina in 1985. Dr. Green Douglas passed away November 27, 2011 in Walterboro, South Carolina.

SOURCES:

University of South Carolina Libraries, "Rosslee Tenetha Green Douglas papers, 1938-2001.", accessed 21 May 2014

Waring Historical Library. "Opening Doors: Rosslee Tenetha Green Douglas, R.N., Women at the Medical University of South Carolina.", accessed 21 May 2014


Collection Overview

The collection is divided into two series:

1. Biographical Materials contains brief personal and professional materials relating to Douglas including resumes, professional biographical sketches, correspondence and documents regarding the Avery Institute Class of 1947 Reunion. Of note are letters from written to Green Douglas by Senator Strom Thurmond and former South Carolina Governor James B. Edwards as outgoing Secretary of the Department of Energy; and a United States Senate Hearing journal holding the nomination of Green Douglas as Director of of the Department of Energy's Office of Minority Economic Impact (OMEI).

2. Photographic Material holds a small collection of black and white and color photographs from Green Douglas family and childhood; political career and White House functions; and prints from the Avery Institute Class of 1947 Reunion.Of note is a color photograph with Green Douglas shaking President Reagan's hand. The print is autographed by Reagan


Collection Arrangement

1. Biographical Material, 1961-2001, and undated

2. Photographic Material, 1934-2002, and undated


Related Archival Materials note

A larger collection entitled "Rosslee Tenetha Green Douglas Papers," is located at the South Caroliniana Library, The University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina.

The Avery Research Center holds Rosslee Green Douglas husband's papers, Walter Earl Douglas Papers, AMN 1127.

Subject Headings

  • Douglas, Rosslee Tenetha Green , 1928-2011
  • Douglas, Walter Earl, 1923-1979
  • Edwards, James B., 1927-
  • Reagan, Ronald W., President, 1911-2004
  • Thurmond, Strom, 1902-2003
  • Avery Normal Institute--Alumni and alumnae.


Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1961-2005, and undated.

Contains personal and professional materials relating to Green Douglas including resumes, professional biographical sketches, correspondence and documents regarding the Avery Institute Class of 1947 Reunion.
Box 1   Folder 1
Resumes and Biographical Sketches, 1961, 1983, 1985, 2001, and undated
Also includes interview with Green Douglas from "Women in Energy: a Newsletter of the DOE Federal Women's Program," (1983); and a biographical sketch on her husband, Walter Earl Douglas (1961)
Box 1   Folder 2
Published United States Senate Hearing, 13 May, 1981
Contains the nomination for Green Douglas's position as Director of of the Department of Energy's Office of Minority Economic Impact (OMEI). Includes brochure regarding "Assistance for Minorities"
Box 1   Folder 3
Correspondence, 1982, 1984, 2005
Contains letters written to Green Douglas by Senator Strom Thurmond and James B. Edwards as outgoing director of the Department of Energy. Also includes a invitation to the Ronald Reagan Commemorative Stamp Dedication (2005)
Box 1   Folder 4
Journal: The University South Caroliniana Society, Sixty-eighth Annual Meeting, 24 April, 2004
Features Green Douglas's collection donation to the Library, with an extended biography (p.35-39). Also includes partial folder listing from the South Caroliniana Library finding aid
Box 1   Folder 5
Avery Institute Class of 1947 Reunion Materials, 2002, 2005
Contains listing of attendees and photocopies of photographs (Color prints are located in Folder 8). Also includes funeral program of Juliabelle E. Marshall, an alum from the Avery Class of 1947.

Series 2: Photographic Material, 1934-2002 and undated.

Contains black and white and color photographs from Green Douglas' family and childhood; political career and White House functions; and prints from the Avery Institute Class of 1947 Reunion.
Box 1   Folder 6
Photographs: Childhood and Family, 1934 and undated
Includes prints of Tenetha Green and younger sister sitting in a chair, sepia 8 ½ x 11 (1934); and color print of her parents and brother, Rozenia and Anglin Green, Sr. and Jr.
Box 1   Folder 7
Photographs: Career and White House Function, 1981, 1984
Holds two prints: Head shot of Green Douglas, the official press release photograph from the Department of Energy, black and white-(8x10); and President Ronald Reagan shaking Douglas’ hand, inscribed "To Rosslee Douglas, With best wishes, Ronald Reagan," 25 June 1984.
Box 1   Folder 8
Photographs: Avery Institute Class of 1947 Reunion, circa 1947, 2002
Color prints from reunion events and black and white photographs of Avery Institute students, circa 1947


Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

No Restrictions

Copyright Notice

The nature of the Avery Research Center's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Avery Research Center claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Rosslee Tenetha Green Douglas Papers, Avery Research Center, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, USA.

Acquisition Note

Papers donated by Rosslee Green Douglas, 4 April 2005

Processing Information

Reprocessed by Georgette Mayo, May 2014

Edited by Aaron Spelbring, April 2014

Encoded by Aaron Spelbring, April 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

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