The National Negro Congress, established in 1936 to "secure the right of the Negro people to be free from Jim Crowism, segregation, discrimination, lynching, and mob violence" and "to promote the spirit of unity and cooperation between Negro and white people," was conceived as a national coalition of church, labor, and civil rights organizations that would coordinate protest action.
Booker T. Washington, founder of the National Negro Business League, believed that solutions to the problem of racial discrimination were primarily economic, and that bringing African Americans into the middle class was the key. In 1900, he established the League "to promote the commercial and financial development of the Negro," and headed it until his death.
The Black Liberation Army (BLA) was an underground, black nationalist-Marxist militant organization that carried out a series of bombings, robberies ("expropriations"), and prison breaks. Composed largely of former Black Panthers (BPP), the organization’s program was to "take up arms for the liberation and self-determination of black people in the United States."
This collection reproduces the writings and statements of the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM), its leaders, and also documents various individuals & organizations associated with RAM, including the African People’s Party, the Black Panther Party, League of Revolutionary Black Workers, Youth Organization for Black Unity, African Liberation Support Committee, and the Republic of New Africa.
This collection contains materials on civil rights, policy development, and the debate over civil rights legislation during the administration of President George H.W. Bush and during his tenure as vice president. Includes memoranda, talking points, correspondence, legal briefs, transcripts, news summaries, and other materials covering a broad range of civil rights issues.
Fannie Lou Hamer was an voting rights activist and civil rights leader instrumental in the Mississippi Freedom Summer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Her plain-spoken manner and fervent belief in the Biblical righteousness of her cause gained her a reputation as an electrifying speaker and constant activist of civil rights.
The assassination on April 4, 1968, of Martin Luther King, Jr., president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, triggered a massive manhunt culminating in the arrest of James Earl Ray. The 44,000-page case file of the Federal Bureau of Investigation documents the bureau’s role in finding Ray and obtaining his conviction. The file also includes background information amassed by the FBI on Dr. King’s social activism. This archive is of particular interest to students of the civil rights movement and of the continuing controversy surrounding Dr. King’s murder.
This collection of FBI reports comprises the Bureau’s investigation and surveillance of James Forman, who was perceived as a threat to the internal security of the United States. The collected materials also include Forman’s involvement with the "Black Manifesto" and the Bureau’s "COINTELPRO" investigations into "Black Nationalist - Hate Groups / Internal Security," and the activities of SNCC.
Organized alphabetically by organization, this collection covers a wide range of viewpoints on political, social, cultural, and economic issues. It sheds light on the internal organization, personnel, and activities of some of the most prominent American radical groups and their movements to change American government and society.
Included: COINTELPRO, Abbie Hoffman, Black Panther Party, Cesar Chavez & the UFW, Kent State University, Malcolm X, MIBURN, Muslim Mosque, Inc., Organization of Afro-American Unity, SDS & Weathermen, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and the investigation of alleged Communist infiltration of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
Between the early 1920s and early 1980s, the Justice Department and the FBI investigated those deemed politically suspect. Prominent among the targets of this surveillance were aliens, members of various protest groups, Socialists, Communists, pacifists, militant labor unionists, ethnic or racial nationalists, and outspoken opponents of the policies of the incumbent presidents.
The Civil Rights Congress (CRC) was established in 1946 to, among other things, "combat all forms of discrimination against...labor, the Negro people and the Jewish people, and racial, political, religious, and national minorities." CRC campaigns helped pioneer many of the tactics that civil rights movement activists would employ in the late 1950s and 1960s.
During the early development of the Civil Rights Movement, white supremacy was a significant cultural and political force. FDR was urged to support anti-lynching legislation, but civil rights became a stepchild of the New Deal. This collection from FDR’s Official File provides insight into his political style and presents an instructive example of how he balanced moral preference with political realities.
The FBI files on Benjamin J. Davis, Jr. , a leader in the Communist Party USA include news of grassroots organizing successes and failures, minutes from meetings held on all the levels on which Davis engaged, and reports from member-informers on all the major political and theoretical debates.
On November 3, 1979 a rally and march of black industrial workers and Communists was planned in Greensboro, North Carolina against the Ku Klux Klan. This collection of documents sheds new light on the motivations of the Communist organizers, the shootings, subsequent investigations into the incident, and efforts to heal the Greensboro community.
This collection details Operation OAK TREE, the U.S. Army's codename for the plans to intervene in Alabama in the event of civil disturbances related to school integration in May 1963, and its successor, Operation PALM TREE. These records cover Governor Wallace's "stand in the schoolhouse door," the Birmingham church bombing, and the National Guard deployment to the area.
James Meredith, an African American, attempted to register at the all-white University of Mississippi in 1962. Meredith had the support of the federal government, which insisted that Mississippi honor the rights of all its citizens, regardless of race, but Mississippi's refusal led to a showdown between state and federal authorities and the storming of the campus by a segregationist mob.
Composed of the FBI surveillance files on the activities of the African Liberation Support Committee and All African Peoples Revolutionary Party, this collection provides two unique views on African American support for liberation struggles in Africa and Pan-Africanism.
This series consists of correspondence and telegrams received and sent by the United States' diplomatic post in Liberia. The topics covered by these records include all aspects of relations with Liberia, and interactions of American citizens with the Liberian government and people. Also see the related archive, Liberia and the U.S.: Nation-Building in Africa; 1918-1935, under the African Studies tab.
Amiri Baraka is the author of over 40 books of essays, poems, drama, and music history and criticism. As a young man in the 1960s, Baraka galvanized a second Black Renaissance, the Black Arts movement. The ideological and political transformations of Amiri Baraka became a new paradigm for the Black Revolt of the 1960s.
The National Domestic Workers Union was founded in Atlanta in 1968 by Dorothy Bolden to help women engaged in household work. The collection includes correspondence with important Georgian & national political figures and subject files illustrating the Union's involvement in the Black community, the Manpower Program, the Career Learning Center, and other groups & agencies.
The Ralph J. Bunche Oral History Collection is a unique resource for the study of the era of the American civil rights movement. Included here are transcriptions of close to 700 interviews with those who experienced involved with voting rights, fair housing, school desegregation, employment discrimination, defiance of police brutality, and to address poverty in the African American communities.
The Written Rastafari Archives Project (WRAP) provides an exclusive collection of the most well-known Rastafari newsletters, magazines, newspapers, booklets, statements, letters, articles and assorted literature written and published by a number of Rastafari Mansions, organizations, groups and individuals over the past four decades.
This collection on law and order documents the efforts of district attorneys from southern states to uphold federal laws in the states that fought in the Confederacy or were Border States. This publication includes their correspondence with the attorney general as well all other letters received by the attorney general from the states in question during that period, including the correspondence of marshals, judges, convicts, and concerned or aggrieved citizens.
The FBI believed the Republic of New Afrika (RNA) to be a seditious group and conducted raids on its meetings, which led to violent confrontations, and the arrest and repeated imprisonment of RNA leaders. These FBI documents chronicle the activities of RNA leaders, power struggles within the organization, its growing militancy, and its affiliations with other Black militant organizations.
The content of Slavery and Anti-Slavery: A Transnational Archive is carefully reviewed by a renowned board of scholars and thematically arranged. It covers a wide spectrum of interests related to the history of slavery: legal issues; the Caribbean; children and women under slavery; modes of resistance; and much more.
James E. Jackson and Esther Cooper Jackson, African American communists and civil rights activists, are best known for their role in founding and leading the Southern Negro Youth Congress (1937-48). The papers contain correspondence and other materials as well as pertaining to the Southern Negro Youth Congress, Freedomways, and the Smith Act indictments of Jackson & other communists.
This collection consists of selected portions of the records of attorney Vernon Z. Crawford (1919–1986) and the Blacksher, Menefee and Stein law firm whose work represents a significant contribution to the shape of the civil rights movement in 20th century Alabama. Documents include legal documentation, complaints, petitions, requests, depositions, handwritten notes, correspondence, exhibits (maps, plans of school buildings, population diagrams), and surveys relating to cases on the following: discriminatory juror selection, civil rights violations (police harassment and brutality), discrimination in employment, school desegregation, and minority vote dilution.
Reproduced here are records of the New York State Supreme Court, which include a full testimony of all witnesses, including the two who spoke in secrecy to hide their identities; preliminary motions, summations, the court's charge, the verdicts, and the sentences; and a confession made years after the trial by one of the men convicted.
This collection is from the Records of the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Military Operations (ODCSOPS) relating to the use of Federal marshals, U.S. Troops, and the federalized National Guard in Oxford, Mississippi, 1962-1963, on the occasion of James Meredith's enrollment at the University of Mississippi. The records cover events such as the riots of September 30 and Governor Barnett's efforts to obstruct Federal marshals, as well as daily events on campus and Meredith's progress under integration. The files detail the extensive Federal involvement, including preparations for the military operation, Executive Orders , after action reports on the costs and lessons of Federal involvement, congressional correspondence on the military's involvement, and effects on the media, public, and in particular, students and staff at Ole Miss.
This publication covers President Eisenhower's use of Federal troops and the Arkansas National Guard in the Little Rock integration crisis of 1957 -1958. The operation is detailed from the planning for intervention prior to deployment, up to the withdrawal of troops at the end of the school year. Records include a journal of events, an Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations & Plans summary of the operation, a historical report prepared by the Office of the Chief of Military History, papers on Governor Faubus' actions with regard to integration, press reports and observations by Army officers on the reaction of the community, and congressional correspondence.
This collection reveals details of the Federal Government's plans to militarily intervene in the 1963 March on Washington (codenamed Operation "Steep Hill") in the event the march became disorderly. Army staff communications and memos tracked the plans of the March organizers throughout the summer, and the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Military Operations prepared contingency plans for cooperation with District of Columbia police for controlling the march. The records also include intelligence reports and estimates, congressional correspondence, press articles, and maps planning the route of the March and facilities needed. These records give an insight into the personalities and events at the March on Washington. In addition, there is small quantity of records relating to the plans to intervene in Alabama in 1963 over the issue of school integration.
Despite the U. S. Supreme Court's decision granting interstate travelers the legal right to disregard local segregation ordinances regarding interstate transportation restaurants & terminals, Jim Crow travel laws remained in force. The Freedom Rides, and the violent reactions they provoked, called national attention to the violent disregard for the segregation laws in the southern United States.
ProQuest: African American Studies Collection List
Focused on the struggle for Black Freedom, this website features roughly 1,600 primary source documents related to critical people and events in African American history. ProQuest's intention is to support a wide range of students, researchers and anyone interested in learning more about the foundation of ongoing racial injustice in the U.S. – and the fights against it.