Anacostia Community Museum Archives

A Finding Aid to the Ellis B. Haizlip Papers, 1945-1991, in the Anacostia Community Museum Archives

Collection ID:
Haizlip, Ellis B., 1929-1991
circa 1945-1991
bulk 1965-1990
The vast majority of the collection is in
. However, there are a few instances of correspondence written in
, several international press clippings in
, and a few materials in
, and unidentified languages.
Physical Description:
63.64 Linear feet
82 boxes
The Ellis B. Haizlip papers, which date from circa 1945 --1991 (bulk dates 1965-1990) and measure 63.64 linear feets, are the personal papers of Ellis B. Haizlip, a television, theatre, and event producer most noted for his work on
Watch your Mouth!
The collection is comprised of correspondence, scripts, financial and business documents, printed material, objects, photographs, slides, and videotapes.

Scope and Contents n ote
Scope and Contents n ote
This collection, consisting of materials which date from 1945 --1991 (bulk dates 1965-1990), contains personal and business documents accrued by Ellis B. Haizlip over the course of his adult life. The papers do not include many documents relating to Haizlip's family or childhood. Included are instances of personal and business correspondence, paperwork and notes relating to the productions with which Haizlip was involved, and documentation of his political, community, and artistic activist work. Also included are photographs and slides both personal and event-related, and videotapes of various television and film projects, including
Watch Your Mouth!

Arrangement note
Arrangement note
The collection is divided into 7 series.
Series 1: Biographical, 1941-1990; undated
Series 2: Career, 1950-1990; undated
Series 3: Organizations, 1948-1990; undated
Series 4: Scripts, 1942-1988; undated
Series 5: Printed Materials, 1950-1990; undated
Series 6: Photographs, undated
Series 7: Videotapes, undated

Biographical/Historical note
Biographical/Historical note
Born September 21, 1929 in Washington, D.C., Ellis Benjamin Haizlip was the son of Ellis M. and Sarah Corbett Haizlip. Haizlip began his production career during his days at Howard University, where he produced the Howard Players in addition to majoring in sociology and economics. He moved to New York after graduation and began his involvement in professional production, including both productions at the Harlem YMCA of plays such as
Dark of the Moon
and international tours of James Baldwin's
The Amen Corner
and the dance show
Black New World
. Haizlip is best known for the television series
, a program that aired on public television WNET during the late 1960s and early 1970s, then resurfaced in the early 1980s.
was a variety show focused on African-American experience, featuring music, dance, poetry, and interviews by and with black performers. Haizlip produced and occasionally hosted the program. He also created the educational series
Watch Your Mouth!
, a sitcom-style program featuring a diverse cast of characters who all struggled with Standard English. In addition to his career, Haizlip was involved with a plethora of organizations of all sorts, from political campaigns to arts organizations to a variety of African American groups such as Black Convention, Inc. and the Delta Sigma Theta sorority. Haizlip had a complex relationship with these organizations, serving as a board member on some, a hired event producer on others, and in some cases playing multiple roles within a single organization, such as the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Haizlip was openly gay, and was active in several LGBT rights groups during his life. His personal life was filled with a social circle of devoted and notable friends, among them Betty Shabazz, Novella Nelson, and Nikki Giovanni. Haizlip died of lung cancer on January 25, 1991. He was 61 years old.

Leanna Duncan
Processing Information note
In 1995 Deborah Willis and Esme Bhan coordinated a preliminary finding aid for the Haizlip papers with the assistance of Elanna Haywood, Shirley Solomon, Mark Wright, Donna Greene, Amy Wilson, Deirdre Cross, and Suzanne Pilet.
In 2013 the finding aid was revised in accordance to DACS by intern Leanna Duncan with the assistance of archivist Jennifer Morris. In 2014 volunteers Maya Thompson arranged the Photograph series and Bremacha La Guerra arranged the videotapes series.
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
The Ellis B. Haizlip papers were donated to the Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History and Culture on November 12, 1995, by Doris (Haizlip) Sanders.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access note
The collection is open for research. Medical documents, financial materials and some correspondence in Career series are restricted. Use requires an appointment.
Preferred Citaton note
Ellis B. Haizlip papers, Anacostia Communityh Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Doris Sanders.
Conditions Governing Use note
The Ellis B. Haizlip papers are the physical property of the Anacostia Community Museum. Literary and copyright belong to the author/creator or their legal heirs and assigns. Rights to work produced during the normal course of Museum business resides with the Anacostia Community Museum. For further information, and to obtain permission to publish or reproduce, contact the Museum Archives.

Related Materials
This collection contains artifacts catalogued in theACM Ojects collection.

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
African American celebrities Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
African Americans on television Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Television producers and directors Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
African American dance Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
African American theater Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Baldwin, James, 1924-1987 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Asford & Simpson. Asford, Nickolas. Simpson, Valerie, 1946 Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Monk, Thelonious Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Giovanni, Nikki Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
1901 Fort Place, SE
Washington, D.C. 20020