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Finding Aid of the Watts Writers' Workshop stories, lesson books, and other material

Finding aid prepared by Rebecca Hirsch and Mandeep Condle, 2010

The processing of this collection and the creation of this finding aid was funded by the generous support of the National Historic Publications and Records Commission.

Summary Information

USC Libraries Special Collections
Sherman, Jimmie L., (Jimmie Lee), b. 1944
Watts Writers' Workshop stories, lesson books, and other material
Collection no.
Date [inclusive]
0.5 Linear feet, 1 box
The Watts Writers’ Workshop was founded in 1965 by Budd Schulberg. This collection contains clippings about the workshop and works by Jimmie Sherman, one of the Workshop’s members.

Preferred Citation

[Box/folder# or item name],Watts Writers' Workshop stories, lesson books, and other material, Collection no. 0177, Special Collections, USC Libraries, University of Southern California.

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Historical Note

The Watts Writers' Workshop (also known as the South Central Writers Workshop: Douglass House), was founded in 1965 by novelist Budd Schulberg in the aftermath of the Watts Riots. Funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Workshop was housed in the Douglass House, which served as a meeting space and housing for some of the workshop members. Jimmie Sherman (b. 1941), was a workshop member. The Workshop still meets sporadically, while the Harlem-based Frederick Douglass Center for the Creative Arts, the Workshop's Eastern offshoot, is a vibrant organization.

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Scope and Content

This collection contains clippings and documents concerning the Watts Writers' Workshop. Included in the collection are Jimmie Sherman's works "Reflections of a Nobody," a short story; "Ballad from the Sixties," a play with music; and "The Workin' Machine," a ballad; as well as Sherman's self-published language instruction materials.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

USC Libraries Special Collections
Doheny Memorial Library 206
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles, California, 90089-0189

Conditions Governing Access

COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE. Advance notice required for access.

Conditions Governing Use

The collection contains published materials; researchers are reminded of the copyright restrictions imposed by publishers on reusing their articles and parts of books. It is the responsibility of researchers to acquire permission from publishers when reusing such materials. The copyright to unpublished materials belongs to the heirs of the writers. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Douglass House Foundation. -- Archives
  • Watts Writers' Workshop. -- Archives


  • Bylaws (administrative records)
  • Clippings
  • Correspondence
  • Manuscripts
  • Photographs

Geographic Name(s)

  • Los Angeles (Calif.)--History--Archival resources

Personal Name(s)

  • Schulberg, Budd -- Archives
  • Sherman, Jimmie L., (Jimmie Lee), b. 1944 -- Archives


  • African American authors--California--Los Angeles--Archival resources
  • African American educators--California--Los Angeles--Archival resources
  • Authors, American--20th century--Archival resources

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

 "Eve" Ink drawing by the poet J.L. Sherman August 1991 

1 1

 By-laws of the Douglass House Foundation 

1 2

 Correspondence, including a letter from Budd Schulberg to Jimmy Sherman March 22, 1988 

1 3

 Various papers: minutes, announcements 

1 4


1 5

 "Reflections of a Nobody," by Jimmie Sherman 

1 6

 Photocopies of photographs 

1 7

 "The Workin' Machine," words by Jimmie Sherman, music by Steve Allen 

1 8

 Studio Watts Workshop newsletters 1969 

1 9

 "A Ballad from the Sixties," ("A Ballad from Watts" Revived) by J.L. Sherman 

1 10

 "Sherman's Think Write" (Lesson Book 1) 

1 11

 "Sherman's Principles of Emotionmatics" (Lesson Book 2) 

1 12

 "Sherman's Theatrical Emotion Mastery" (Lesson Book 3) 

1 13

 "Sherman' Director's Manual: Exercise Book for the Theatrical Director" (Lesson Book 4) 

1 14

 Miscellaneous Photographs 

1 15

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