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Marian Bruce Logan collection of Civil Rights activism

Identifier: SCU-RBSC-2017-6

This collection is comprised of the personal papers and effects of civil rights activist and cabaret singer Marian Bruce Logan (1920-1993). Marian Bruce was a cabaret singer who performed in clubs in New York City, Paris, and London in the 1940s and 1950s. She later retired from the stage and married Dr. Arthur Logan. With whom she had a son, Warren Arthur “Chip” Logan, who was baptized by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. After retiring from singing, Marian Bruce Logan began working on several civil rights initiatives, including with Jackie Robinson and the Student Emergency Fund. The Fund was set up to help African American college students who weren’t able to make their tuition payments. While working with the Student Emergency Fund, Marian became aware of the Diner Sit-ins, wherein African American college students sat in segregated diners and refused to leave. Marian decided to raise funds to buy books, magazines, and other forms of entertainment for the students to enjoy as they occupied the diners. She asked friends and neighbors for $10 each. Word spread of her efforts and she raised over $1,000. Her success in raising funds brought her to the attention of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He asked Marian to work raising funds to support the efforts of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to bring awareness to civil rights disparities through non-violent demonstrations and protests. She became a member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference board, its first Northern board member. She and Arthur became close friends with Martin and his wife, Coretta. Marian even accompanied King to Oslo, Norway when he received the Nobel Peace Prize. After the assassination of King in 1968, Marian continued to work with the Southern Christian Leadership board until April, 1969 when she exited the organization, feeling that the group was straying from King’s ideals. In 1977, Marian was appointed New York City Human Rights Commissioner, a position she held for two years. While serving as Commissioner she became involved with the Black Americans in Support of Israel Committee (BASIC). BASIC was concerned with the treatment of the Black Hebrew Community in Israel. She took two trips to Israel, first in 1978 then again in 1981, to work to resolve the situation. The largest portion of the collection stems from her trips to Israel with BASIC, though the collection spans the duration of her life. Other series in the collection include correspondence and other documents relating to the various civil rights organizations of which Logan was an active participant, including her work with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Student Emergency Fund and her work as New York City Human Rights Commissioner. Documents relating to Logan’s personal life are also present in this archive, including sheet music from her early career as a cabaret singer.


  • 1945-1989
  • Majority of material found within 1960-1980


Access Restrictions

Open to research

Publication Rights

All rights reside with the creator. For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections.


13 boxes


Purchase, 2017

Digital Collection


Repository Details

Part of the Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections Repository

Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library
1322 Greene Street
Columbia SC 29208 USA
(803) 777-3847

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