BATON ROUGE, La. ― Veteran Democratic political strategist and commentator Donna Brazile makes no secret of her pride in being a Louisiana native and LSU graduate.
Now a piece of her personal history has returned to her home state with the recent donation of her papers to the LSU Libraries Special Collections.
Photographs, correspondence and speeches, as well as other writings, memoranda, reports and analyses, campaign management and research files and memorabilia comprise the collection.
Together, the 32 boxes of materials document Brazile’s involvement in Democratic politics and the Democratic National Committee and her interest in and efforts to mobilize African-American voters, elect women to office and advocate for voting rights; her public speaking and teaching; her work with the Louisiana Recovery Authority; and her participation in every presidential campaign between 1976 and 2000, including as manager of the Gore-Lieberman bid for the White House.
She was the first African-American to lead a major presidential campaign.
“LSU was an indispensable part of my education, as a person and as a political operative,” Brazile said. “From taking classes with life-changing professors to writing opinion pieces in the Daily Reveille to weekly Friday discussions on campus about the social justice issues of the day, LSU engrained in me a lifelong love of learning and shaped me as a political organizer. Because LSU gave me so much, I am humbled to give LSU Libraries Special Collections my papers and grateful to share my life’s work to encourage and inspire the next generation of political activists to take their seats at the table,” Brazile said.
Brazile graduated from LSU in 1981, and she received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters in 2005.
A significant figure in Democratic politics, Brazile currently serves as vice chair of voter registration and participation at the DNC and formerly served as interim chair of the DNC and chaired its Voting Rights Institute.
An adjunct professor in the Women’s Studies Program at Georgetown University, she has also taught at the University of Maryland and has been a resident fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics.
Brazile is also a nationally syndicated columnist, a political commentator for CNN and ABC News and a contributing writer to Ms. Magazine and O, The Oprah Magazine.
“On behalf of the LSU family, we enthusiastically accept Donna’s papers with the utmost gratitude in doing so,” LSU Executive Vice President and Provost Stuart Bell said. “A pioneer for many, future generations will cherish the rich history that abounds in these treasured documents; those that detail her journey and someone with Louisiana beginnings who has achieved such great impact.”
Brazile’s papers are part of the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections in the LSU Libraries Special Collections, located in Hill Memorial Library. The largest accumulation of materials on the state and region in existence, the LLMVC includes a comprehensive collection of books, maps, newspapers on microfilm, historical manuscripts and photographs
“Her papers are an excellent bridge to documenting the culture and political climate of both the latter part of the 20th century and into the 21st century,” said Jessica Lacher-Feldman, head of LSU Libraries Special Collections.