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Sharon Woodson-Bryant Papers

Call Number: RH MS 1151


The Sharon Woodson-Bryant papers are those of a native Kansan who is a journalist and public relations professional. They also relate to Woodson-Bryant's family, especially her father, James E. Woodson, who was a Topeka, Kansas-based attorney.


  • Creation: 1920 - 2008


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

History of the Woodson Family

James Edward Woodson, Sharon Woodson-Bryant's father, was born to Mr. and Mrs. L. L. Woodson. During World War II, he served in the Fifth Army. Woodson then graduated from Washburn University, earning a Bachelor of Law in 1948 and a Juris Doctorate in 1970. He worked as a lawyer in Topeka, Kansas. He also served on the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce, the Topeka Human Relations Commission, and on several committees of the Kansas Bar Association. Woodson was an active member of both the NAACP and the Republican party.

Woodson married Ethel Louise Ransom. Ransom attended Salina High School and graduated from John Muir High in Pasadena, California; she also graduated from Washburn University, later doing graduate work at both Washburn and the University of Kansas. She worked as a teacher in the Topeka school district. She served on the Kansas Black Republican Council, the Kansas Black American Affairs Committee, and the Bethany Hospital Auxiliary Board and was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha and Links. Some time after James E. Woodson died in 1983, Mrs. Woodson remarried and became Ethel L. Parks, remaining active in the community.

The Woodsons had two children: Sharon Louise and James Ransom. In 1965, Sharon Woodson graduated from Topeka High School; she went on to earn a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas in 1969 and 1975.

Sharon Woodson-Bryant worked as a reporter in Michigan (Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor) and Florida (Tallahassee), where she published the African American newspaper Capital Outlook. She later moved to Los Angeles and was employed as a guest columnist for the L.A. Wave, where she wrote predominately on race relations and struggles in the U.S. She has also worked as a freelance writer, a lobbyist for Southern California Gas Service, vice president in public relations and government affairs for Union Bank of California, and media manager for First 5 LA, an organization committed to improving the health and well-being of children and families in Los Angeles County.


1.25 Linear Feet (3 document cases + 2 oversize boxes)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The Sharon Woodson-Bryant Papers date from the 1920 to 2008 and are arranged in three series: family papers, Sharon Woodson-Bryant's papers, and photographs. The collection includes such items as certificates, clippings, articles, personal and professional letters, and plaques.

Photographs from the collection are located at RH MS-P 1151. Oversize materials are located at RH MS Q300 and RH MS R256.

Physical Location

RH MS 1151

Physical Location

RH MS-P 1151

Physical Location

RH MS Q300

Physical Location

RH MS R256

Physical Location

RH MS 1407

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gifts, Sharon Woodson-Bryant, 1994, 2001, 2015.

Related Materials

Woodson, Sharon L. "The Black Hegira to Kansas: 1879-1880." Thesis (M.S.). University of Kansas. Department of Journalism, 1975. Located at Thesis 1975 W867 Anschutz Library and Thesis 1975 W867 Library Annex.

Guide to the Sharon Woodson-Bryant Collection
Sharon Woodson-Bryant Papers
Finding aid prepared by mbw, 2008; revised by, cl 2010; revised by skt, 2010; revised by eh, 2017.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in<language encodinganalog="language">English.</language>
Support for the processing of this Collection was provided by the Dana and Sue Anderson African American Collecting Program Endowment Fund.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Sharon Woodson-Bryant papers, RH MS 1151, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States