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Philip Slomovitz South End collection

Identifier: P-135

Scope and Content Note

The Philip Slomovitz South End collection contains: correspondence, newspaper clippings, magazine articles, and editions of the South End newspaper from 1969, 1971-1974. The collection pertains to the rise of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel articles printed in Wayne State University's student run newspaper, the South End between 1969 and 1973, and the reaction of the Detroit Jewish community. The collection is entirely in English.

In 1969, articles written in the South End supporting the Palestinian group Al-Fatah created controversy between Wayne State University and the Detroit Jewish community. In 1973, an article was printed with an image of a Star of David with a swastika in its center as its background. This drew great attention, and was the source of much of the controversy documented in this collection.

Correspondence is between such parties as: the American Civil Liberties Union, the Ad Hoc Committee for Responsible Student Journalism, and the Detroit Chapter of the American Jewish Congress; also includes articles printed about the incident in the Detroit News, Look Magazine, Michigan State News, and the Detroit Free Press.

This collection is of interest to anyone researching African-American/Jewish relations, rhetoric regarding the Arab-Israeli Conflict in the 1960s and 1970s, and the Detroit Jewish experience of the late 1960s and 1970s. Half the collection is comprised of whole editions of the South End, collected by Philip Slomovitz. The newspaper editions can be found in the oversized boxes.


  • 1969-1974


Language of Materials

The collection is in English.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers, except items that may be restricted due to their fragility or privacy.

Use Restrictions

No permission is required to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection, as long as the usage is scholarly, educational, and non-commercial. For inquiries about other usage, please contact the Director of Collections and Engagement at

For reference questions, please email:

Historical Note

The South End is the official school newspaper of Wayne State University in the heart of Detroit. Originally called The Daily Collegian, the South End was renamed in 1966 to reflect the changing demographics of Detroit due to the effects of "white flight" to the suburbs. The term "south end" separates the urban school from the northern Detroit suburbs.

The change of name was not the only radical change to happen to the paper in the 1960s and 1970s. Soon after the change, John Watson was made editor of the South End. Watson changed the South End from a college paper reporting campus events, into a radical "revolutionary" newspaper for workers, reporting on domestic and international issues. Watson used South End to educate workers on unionization and their rights as well as oppressed peoples everywhere. Soon, half of the published South End papers were distributed to workers at the Dodge factory in Detroit to educated workers and not students on Wayne State's campus.

The newspaper attacked all levels of establishment, candidly reporting from a socialist standpoint. On two occasions, the paper printed anti-Semitic articles: in 1973 it used a graphic of a Star of David with a swastika printed in the center. The Detroit Jewish community and alumni reaction was immediate, and the South End became a point of great controversy for Wayne State.

In 1973 Watson and his successor, Gene Cunningham, were removed from the South End staff, and the newspaper was refocused on its role as a campus newspaper.


3.9 Linear Feet (1 manuscript box, 2 oversized boxes)


Contains the 1969, and 1971-1973 issues of The South End, the Wayne State University student paper. Also includes: correspondence, public statements, petitions, and a tape-recording relating to controversies generated by the printing of alleged anti-Zionist/anti-Semitic articles in the newspaper. The correspondence consists for the most part of an exchange of letters between university officials, Jewish community leaders and Leonard N. Simons, a Detroit advertising executive, during the 1969 controversy; and correspondence with Philip Slomovitz, editor of the Detroit Jewish news, in 1972-73. The tape recording is of a February 2, 1969 interview with John Watson, editor of the South End.


The collection is divided into two series corresponding to the original filing system of Philip Slomovitz as follows:


The South End collection was donated to the American Jewish Historical Society in 1975. (1975.008)

Guide to the Philip Slomovitz (1896-1993) South End Collection, 1969-1974   *P-135
Processed by Jason Schechter (June 5, 2002)
© 2006
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.

Revision Statements

  • April, July 2020: EHyman: post-ASpace migration cleanup.

Repository Details

Part of the American Jewish Historical Society Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States