Printed Manuscript & African Americana: March 24, 2022 Auction Highlights

Our March 24 Printed Manuscript & African Americana sale will feature important material, from slavery through the civil rights era, as well as noteworthy literature and music, including iconic cornerstone pieces such as Benjamin Banneker’s first almanac from 1792. Several important lots relate to Black baseball, both from the Negro Leagues and from much earlier, including the earliest known photographs of Black ballplayers in action, from circa 1871.

Lot 261: Substantial archive of Louis Armstrong material, including memoirs, a signed contract, travel itineraries, and more, 1950–70. Estimate $6,000 to $9,000. 

Jack Greenberg Collection

Also featured is a collection from the late Jack Greenberg, the longtime head of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, reflecting his close association with the leading figures of the Civil Rights movement, including a signed photograph from his mentor, Thurgood Marshall, and a warmly inscribed copy of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Why We Can’t Wait, discussing the Birmingham campaign—Greenberg and the LDF secured King’s release from the Birmingham Jail.

Lot 182: Martin Luther King, Why We Can’t Wait, inscribed to civil rights lawyer, Jack Greenberg, 1964. Estimate $20,000 to $30,000. 
Lot 185: Alice Walker, Revolutionary Petunias & Other Poems, inscribed to Jack Greenberg, 1973. Estimate $400 to $600.

Related Reading: Listen to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Speaking to the SCLC Board in 1968

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Lot 258: Scott Joplin, Treemonisha: Opera in Three Acts, New York, 1911. Estimate $4,000 to $6,000. 

Related Reading: Early Black-Owned Business Ephemera

Lot 46: Elizabeth Ambrose Merrill, letter describing the final days and death of abolitionist martyr Elijah Lovejoy, 1837. Estimate $5,000 to $7,500.