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Edward Vaughn Papers

Identifier: UP002518

Scope and Content

The Edward Vaughn papers are separated into 2 series, Series 1: Work and organizational involvement, 1967-2015; Series 2: Subject files, 1963-2006.

Series 1 includes a variety of material from Vaughn’s working life from the late 1960s through 2015. Material includes miscellaneous correspondence, business papers, fliers, records from his work with the NAACP, and all of his elections for political office. Of note, are records regarding Vaughn’s involvement in organizations that promoted the black consciousness and African American history and interests. These businesses and organizations include Vaughn’s Bookstore, Africana World Theme Park Inc., Forum 66, Pan African Congress, and others. Scrapbook materials form the 6th Pan-African Congress trip in 1974 and a video of a speech Vaughn gaveiven as a guest speaker at an Emancipation Proclamation celebreation in 2010 are also present in this series.

Additionally, in Series 2, the collection contains subject files created by Vaughn on topics related to African American history that include news clippings, publications, and in some cases, fliers, correspondence and Vaughn’s own writing or notes.


  • 1963-2015



Material entirely in English.


Collection is open for research.


Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials.


Edward Vaughn was born in Alabama on July 30, 1934. In 1955, Vaughn graduated from Fisk University after studying history and government. During his time at Fisk, Vaughn served as President of the campus NAACP chapter. After graduating, he moved to Detroit and worked in a number of jobs including for the post office, then joined the U.S. Army from 1957-1959. Upon leaving the army and returning to Detroit, Vaughn worked as a social worker with the Department of Public Welfare, before opening Vaughn’s Bookstore in 1965. Vaughn’s bookstore specialized in books and information on African American history, literature, and writings.

In addition to his bookstore, Ed Vaughn was involved in Detroit community and writings, research, discussion, and organizations promoting African American culture. This included serving as Chairman of Forum 66, Vice President of the Community Business Association, Chairman of the Housing and Redevelopment Committee of the Citywide Citizens Action Committee, headed Black Star Co-op Inc., work with Africana World Theme Park Inc., and other organizations.

In 1978, Vaughn began his political career by running for Michigan State Representative, he served one term, then began working for Mayor Coleman Young as his Executive Assistant in 1981. Vaughn unsuccessfully ran for Detroit City Council in 1989 and 1993. From 1995-2000, Vaughn again served as a Michigan State Representative.

In January 2001, Vaughn retired from Michigan State House of Representatives and moved to his hometown Dothan, Alabama. Since his “retirement,” Vaughn has stayed active in the NAACP Dothan/Wiregrass Branch, was elected Vice President of the branch in 2014, elected NAACP Alabama State Conference President, and served as a delegate to the national convention in 2014. He has also spent time creating, developing, and producing plays and theatre. To promote his work with theatre, he created both the Langston Hughes Theatre Company and Edward Vaughn and Associates.

Vaughn has six children: John, Eric, Randall, Sybil, Attallah, Sahran.


4 Linear Feet (4 SB)

4 Gigabytes


Edward Vaughn was a participant in the rise of black consciousness that began to proliferate in the 1960s. He opened Vaughn’s Bookstore in Detroit in 1965, the second black bookstore in America, and it was well known as disseminator of books and information on African American history. Vaughn also became involved in Forum 66, Black Star Co-op Inc., was part of the 6th Pan-African Congress, and a number of other organizations promoting African American culture and Detroit community. Vaughn later became involved in politics at a city and state level, serving as a Michigan State Representative, as Executive Assistant to Mayor Coleman Young, and ran for other office including the Detroit City Council. After retiring from political office Vaughn moved back to his hometown of Dothan, Alabama and became more heavily involved in the NAACP, including serving as President of the Dothan/Wiregrass Branch. Vaughn also spends time writing plays and promoting local theatre.


The Edward Vaughn papers are arranged into two series. Series 1: Work and organizational involvement files, 1967-2015 (Box 1-2), Series 2: Subject files (Box 2-4). Series are arranged in rough alphabetical order.




Collection deposited at the Walter P. Reuther Library by donor, Edward Vaughn, in 2014 and 2015.

Existence and Location of Copies

One DVD entitled "Emancipation Proclaimation Celebration : Mount Zion AME Zion Chruch" Montgomery, AL Friday, 1 January 2010 is avialable in the Digital Hold.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library on February 14, 2018.
Guide to the Edward Vaughn Papers
Shae Rafferty
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA