Skip to main content

Al Fishman Papers

 Collection
Identifier: UP001654
Part I: The Al Fishman Collection consists of correspondence, minutes, publications and other materials documenting Mr. Fishman’s political activities from 1967 to 1974.

Important subjects in the collection: Americans for Democratic Action Black Panthers Julian Bond Boycotts Democratic National Convention, Chicago, 1968 Democratic National Convention, Miami, 1972 Michigan Democratic Party Bernadette Devlin Zolton Ferency Otto Feinstein Eugene McCarthy George McGovern Michigan Conference for Concerned Democrats (MCCD) Michigan Vietnam Moratorium New Democratic Coalition of Michigan (NDCM) North Detroit Coalition for McGovern Police residency requirement--Detroit

Important correspondents: George McGovern Coleman Young
Part II: Part 2 of the collection documents the Fishman’s activism in the city of Detroit and their participation in various peace, justice and human rights groups, such as New Jewish Agenda, Peace Action of Michigan and Detroit Area Peace with Justice Network groups. Materials from Margaret Fishman’s involvement in the group Women’s Conference of Concerns are included. The collection also contains some materials from Al Fishman’s work with the Detroit Police Department, the City Charter Revision Commission, and his unsuccessful bids for city office.

Important Subjects: Activists, Human Rights. Activists, Peace. Apartheid--Africa--Southern. Communism--20th century. Democracy--United States--20th century. Detroit Area Peace with Justice Network. Human rights and democracy. Human rights advocacy--United States. Iraq War, 2003-2011--Moral and ethical aspects Michigan Coalition for Human Rights. Nuclear Disarmament--United States--20th Century. New Jewish Agenda (Organization). Peace Action (Organization). SANE/FREEZE (Organization). Social justice--Michigan--Detroit. United States. Dept. of Defense--Appropriations and expenditures. Women’s Conference of Concerns.

Important Names: John Conyers Erma Henderson Maryann Mahaffey Milo Radulavich Coleman Young

Dates

  • 1940 - 2008
  • Majority of material found within 1974 - 2008

Creator

Language of Materials

Material primarily in English, some materials in Czech, Russian and Hebrew.

Access

Collection is open for research.

Use

Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.

Extent

29 Linear Feet (28 SB, 3 MB)

Abstract

Alvin Fishman was born in Los Angeles, Nov. 28, 1927, but he was raised in New York and graduated from Stuyvesant High School. He was drafted and served in Italy during World War II. After the war, he moved to Ann Arbor, MI to attend the University of Michigan and study architecture. During this time he became involved in politics. Fishman left the university prior to graduation to move to Detroit and work as a tool and die machinist in an auto plant for the next thirteen years. He married Margaret Radulavich in 1951; they had two children, Marcia and Daniel. As an adult, he returned to college to complete his education in mathematics at Wayne State University. He also pursued a Master of Public Adminstration from Wayne State in the 1970s. He made a living programming computer systems for the Detroit Police Department.

Al Fishman and his wife, Margaret, were activists for peace and justice. Al was a long time leader of Peace Action of Michigan, serving as co-chair and representative on the national board of directors. He joined in the 1980s when the group was called the SANE/Freeze, working on the Nuclear Freeze Campaign. He was also involved with the New Jewish Agenda, Detroit Area Peace with Justice Network, Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, and Democratic Socialists of America.

Part 1 of Mr. Fishman’s papers reflect his activities as state chairperson for the New Democratic Coalition of Michigan (NDCM) and his involvement in various Detroit-area political organizations and the anti-Vietnam War movement.

Part 2 of the collection documents the Fishman’s activism in the city of Detroit and their participation in various peace, justice and human rights groups, such as New Jewish Agenda, Peace Action of Michigan and Detroit Area Peace with Justice Network groups. Materials from Margaret Fishman’s involvement in the group Women’s Conference of Concerns are included. The collection also contains some materials from Al Fishman’s work with the Detroit Police Department, the City Charter Revision Commission, and his unsuccessful bids for city office.

History

Part I: While Al Fishman’s political activism in Detroit and the state of Michigan reaches back to the late 1940s, this collection of his papers deals primarily with Fishman’s term as state chairperson for the New Democratic Coalition of Michigan (1966-1971) and with his involvement in Detroit-area political organizations such as North Detroit Citizens for McGovern (1972) and Turn Detroit Around (1973). Among other issues, the New Democratic Coalition of Michigan (NDCM) supported the candidacy of Eugene McCarthy and opposed American involvement in the war in Vietnam. Turn Detroit Around formed to attract white voters to support Coleman Young’s first mayoral bid and to support an interracial slate of Common Council candidates. Mr. Fishman was also vice-chairperson of Urban Alliance (1968-1970) as well as a Michigan Democratic Party state central committee member.
Part II: Alvin Fishman was born in Los Angeles, Nov. 28, 1927, but he was raised in New York and graduated from Stuyvesant High School. He was drafted and served in Italy during World War II. After the war, he moved to Ann Arbor, MI to attend the University of Michigan and study architecture. During this time he became involved in politics. Fishman left the university prior to graduation to move to Detroit and work as a tool and die machinist in an auto plant for the next thirteen years. He married Margaret Radulavich in 1951; they had two children, Marcia and Daniel. As an adult, he returned to college to complete his education in mathematics at Wayne State University. He also pursued a Master of Public Adminstration from Wayne State in the 1970s. He made a living programming computer systems for the Detroit Police Department.

Al Fishman and his wife, Margaret, were activists for peace and justice. Al was a long time leader of Peace Action of Michigan, serving as co-chair and representative on the national board of directors. He joined in the 1980s when the group was called the SANE/Freeze, working on the Nuclear Freeze Campaign. He was also involved with the New Jewish Agenda, Detroit Area Peace with Justice Network, Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, and Democratic Socialists of America.

Arrangement

Part I: Folders are listed in the order in which they appear.
Part II: Folders are listed by their location within each box. They are not necessarily arranged, so any given subject may be dispersed throughout the entire collection. Box numbering picks up from Part I of the collection.

Acquisition

Part II: Part 2 was accessioned in three parts in 2000, 2008 and 2011.

Transfers

Part II: Photograph negatives, CDs, DVDs, audio cassette tapes and various sized reels (Box 25) have been transferred to the Archives Audiovisual Department.

Processing History

Part I: Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Part II: Finding aid written by Jennifer Meekhof on April 25, 2012.

Creator

Title
Guide to the Al Fishman Papers
Status
completed
Author
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English

Revision Statements

  • 2012-04-25: Part 2 processed and finding aid updated by Jennifer Meekhof.

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA