NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The Civil Rights Movement in Nacogdoches and much of Deep East Texas is forever preserved thanks to the Arthur Weaver Collection.
The founder of the NAACP and the East Texas Legal Services died in 2011, but his contributions toward equality are now in Stephen F. Austin State University's East Texas Research Center.
No research on the Civil Rights Movement in East Texas would be complete without including Arthur Weaver of Nacogdoches.
And there's Dad thinking," said Charlotte Weaver Stokes, Arthur Weaver's daughter. And when Dad had his head down and twiddling those fingers, something was going on in that head."
Charlotte Weaver Stokes knows her dad was thinking of ways to achieve equal treatment for blacks in East Texas.
Into her adulthood, Stokes followed her dad as he fought discrimination, police brutality, and unfair housing issues. All injustices were dealt with in a peaceful manner.
"This was setting up legal services," said Pamela Temple, an SFA graduate assistant.
"OK, I was there with him," Stokes said. "I was there with him."
For others the experience will come through the Weaver Collection, which is being archived by Temple.
"Somebody made the comment he was an obsessive duplicator," Temple said.
For decades Weaver would collect hundreds of clippings, posters, and case writings on civil rights.
They were stored in an un-air-conditioned home office. Some of them were in tall stacks. Most of it was thumb-tacked to the wall, even the ceiling.
If he was looking for a piece of paper he knew exactly where it was," Temple said.
East Texas Research Director Linda Reynolds used a more analytical approach in finding what was there.
"So we had a Sector H, so it was a letter," Reynolds said. "And then we had sections with numbers on it. So we gridded it off to make it easier to know where this box came from."
"And so part of the process was trying to figure out what his method to his madness was," Temple said.
Her comment was a figure of speech meant only as a compliment. The grocer with an 8th grade education was a master in helping poor minorities.
"So I have 11 boxes of just people that he helped," Temple said.
In all, Weaver helped 1,400 people.
"I could tell his heart was in it," Temple said.
"He loved every minute of his life," Stokes said. "You hear me."
Stokes said she hopes viewers recognize that through the Weaver Collection. She wants them to then ask themselves some questions.
"What can I do?' Can I be an Arthur Weaver?" Stokes said.
The Arthur Weaver Collection can be found at the East Texas Research Center on the second floor of the SFA Steen Library. Anyone is welcome to view anyone of the 11 boxes of categorized material.