Protect yourself online. Learn how to hide your browsing history. × Quick exit
Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Virtual Displays: Civil Rights Movement and Activists

This guide showcases eBook versions of physical displays at the Fr. Leonard Alvey Library.

Pennsylvania college students join the 1963 March on Washington, the largest civil rights protest in history.

Photo credit: Flip Schulke Archive Image courtesy of Newseum.org

 

Make Some Noise: Students and the Civil Rights Movement

Aerial view of crowd and stage at the March on Washington, 1963

Photograph by Marion S. Trikosko

Image courtesy of Library of Congress

Martin Luther King, Jr. at a press conference at the Capitol, Washington, D.C.

Photograph by Marion S. Trikosko, 1964 March 26

Image courtesy of Library of Congress

 

Martin Luther King Jr. press conference

A. Philip Randolph

Photograph by Gordon Parks for Office of War Information, Washington, D.C. 1942 Nov.

Image courtesy of Library of Congress

 

Bayard Rustin at news briefing on Civil Rights March on Washington

Photograph by Warren K. Leffler, 1963 Aug. 27

Image courtesy of Library of Congress

Malcolm X, waiting for press conference

Photograph by Marion S. Trikosko, 1964 March 26

Image courtesy of Library of Congress

Washington, D.C., November 3, 1964. African American woman casting vote in presidential election, Cardoza High School

Image courtesy of Library of Congress

Casting Vote

New York City Mayor Robert Wagner greeting the teenagers who integrated Central High School, Little Rock, Arkansas

Photography by Walter Albertin

Image courtesy of Library of Congress

Brescia University attends the March for Freedom, Selma, Alabama, 1965

Image courtesy of The Brescian yearbook, 1965

Men of the Civil Rights Movement

Becoming King

"The history books may write it Reverend King was born in Atlanta, and then came to Montgomery, but we feel that he was born in Montgomery in the struggle here, and now he is moving to Atlanta for bigger responsibilities." -- Member of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, November 1959 Preacher -- this simple term describes the twenty-five-year-old Ph.D. in theology who arrived in Montgomery, Alabama, to become the pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in 1954. His name was Martin Luther King Jr., but where did this young minister come from? What did he believe, and what role would he play in the growing activism of the civil rights movement of the 1950s? In Becoming King: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Making of a National Leader, author Troy Jackson chronicles King's emergence and effectiveness as a civil rights leader by examining his relationship with the people of Montgomery, Alabama.

A Fire You Can't Put Out

This first biography of Fred Shuttlesworth-winner of both the 2000 Lillian Smith Award and the 2001 James F. Sulzby Jr. Award-details the fascinating life of the controversial preacher who led integration efforts in Birmingham with the courage and fervor of a religious crusader. When Fred Shuttlesworth suffered only a bump on the head in the 1956 bombing of his home, members of his church called it a miracle. Shuttlesworth took it as a sign that God would protect him on the mission that had made him a target that night. Standing in front of his demolished home, Shuttlesworth vigorously renewed his commitment to integrate Birmingham's buses, lunch counters, police force, and parks. The incident transformed him, in the eyes of Birmingham's blacks, from an up-and-coming young minister to a virtual folk hero and, in the view of white Birmingham, from obscurity to rabble-rouser extraordinaire. 

Crusader for Justice

The Honorable Damon J. Keith was appointed to the federal bench in 1967 and has served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit since 1977, where he has been an eloquent defender of civil and constitutional rights and a vigorous enforcer of civil rights law. In "Crusader for Justice: Federal Judge Damon J. Keith, " authors Peter J. Hammer and""Trevor W. Coleman present the first-ever biography of native Detroiter Judge Keith, surveying his education, important influences, major cases, and professional and personal commitments. Hammer and Coleman trace Keith's early life, from his public school days in Detroit to his time serving in the segregated U.S. army and his law school years at Howard University at the dawn of the Civil Rights era. 

Bayard Rustin and the Civil Rights Movement

Best known as the man who organized the Great March on Washington in 1963, Bayard Rustin was a vital force in the civil rights movement from the 1940s through the 1980s.  Rustins's activism embraced the wide range of crucial issues of his time: communism, international pacifism, and race relations. Rustin's long activist career began with his association with A. Phillip Randolph of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters.  Then, as a member of A. J. Muste's Fellowship of Reconciliation, he participated in the "Journey of Reconciliation" (an early version of the "Freedom Rides" of 1961).  He was a close associate of Martin Luther King in Montgomery and Atlanta and rose to prominence as organizer of the 1963 March on Washington.  Rustin played a key role in applying nonviolent direct action to American race relations while rejecting the separatism of movements like Black Power in the 1960s, even at the risk of his being marginalized by the younger generation of civil rights activists.  

Lay Bare the Heart

Texas native James Farmer is one of the "Big Four" of the turbulent 1960s civil rights movement, along with Martin Luther King Jr., Roy Wilkins, and Whitney Young. Farmer might be called the forgotten man of the movement, overshadowed by Martin Luther King Jr., who was deeply influenced by Farmer's interpretation of Gandhi's concept of nonviolent protest. Born in Marshall, Texas, in 1920, the son of a preacher, Farmer grew up with segregated movie theaters and "White Only" drinking fountains. This background impelled him to found the Congress of Racial Equality in 1942. That same year he mobilized the first sit-in in an all-white restaurant near the University of Chicago. Under Farmer's direction, CORE set the pattern for the civil rights movement by peaceful protests which eventually led to the dramatic "Freedom Rides" of the 1960s. In Lay Bare the Heart Farmer tells the story of the heroic civil rights struggle of the 1950s and 1960s. 

I Am a Man!

The civil rights movement was first and foremost a struggle for racial equality, but questions of gender lay deeply embedded within this struggle. Steve Estes explores key groups, leaders, and events in the movement to understand how activists used race and manhood to articulate their visions of what American society should be. Estes demonstrates that, at crucial turning points in the movement, both segregationists and civil rights activists harnessed masculinist rhetoric, tapping into implicit assumptions about race, gender, and sexuality. 

Malcolm X

The FBI has made possible a reassembling of the history of Malcolm X that goes beyond any previous research. From the opening of his file in March of 1953 to his assassination in 1965, the story of Malcolm X’s political life is a gripping one. Shortly after he was released from a Boston prison in 1953, the FBI watched every move Malcolm X made. Their files on him totaled more than 3,600 pages, covering every facet of his life. Viewing the file as a source of information about the ideological development and political significance of Malcolm X, historian Clayborne Carson examines Malcolm’s relationship to other African-American leaders and institutions in order to define more clearly Malcolm’s place in modern history. With its sobering scrutiny of the FBI and the national policing strategies of the 1950s and 1960s, Malcolm X: The FBI File is one of a kind: never before has there been so much material on the assassination of Malcolm X in one conclusive volume.

The Quiet Voices

These wide-ranging essays reveal the various roles played by southern rabbis in the struggle for black civil rights since Reconstruction The study of black-Jewish relations has become a hotbed of controversy, especially with regard to the role played by Jewish leaders during the Civil Rights movement. The contributors in this volume explore the motivations and subsequent behavior of rabbis in a variety of southern environments both before and during the civil rights struggle. Their research demonstrates that most southern rabbis indeed faced pressures not experienced in the North and felt the need to balance these countervailing forces to achieve their moral imperative. Individually, each essay offers a glimpse into both the private and public difficulties these rabbis faced in their struggle to achieve good. Collectively, the essays provide an unparalleled picture of Jewish leadership during the civil rights era.

Children of the Movement

Profiling 24 of the adult children of the most recognizable figures in the civil rights movement, this book collects the intimate, moving stories of families who were pulled apart by the horrors of the struggle or brought together by their efforts to change America. The whole range of players is covered, from the children of leading figures like Martin Luther King Jr. and martyrs like James Earl Chaney to segregationists like George Wallace and Black Panther leaders like Elaine Brown. The essays reveal that some children are more pessimistic than their parents, whose idealism they saw destroyed by the struggle, while others are still trying to change the world. Included are such inspiring stories as the daughter of a notoriously racist Southern governor who finds her calling as a teacher in an all-black inner-city school and the daughter of a famous martyr who unexpectedly meets her mother’s killer. 

A. Philip Randolph and the Struggle for Civil Rights

A. Philip Randolph's career as a trade unionist and civil rights activist fundamentally shaped the course of black protest in the mid-twentieth century. Standing alongside individuals such as W. E. B. Du Bois and Marcus Garvey at the center of the cultural renaissance and political radicalism that shaped communities such as Harlem in the 1920s and into the 1930s, Randolph fashioned an understanding of social justice that reflected a deep awareness of how race complicated class concerns, especially among black laborers. Examining Randolph's work in lobbying for the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, threatening to lead a march on Washington in 1941, and establishing the Fair Employment Practice Committee, Cornelius L. Bynum shows that Randolph's push for African American equality took place within a broader progressive program of industrial reform. 

Women of the Civil Rights Movement

Daisy Bates

Daisy Bates (1914-1999) is renowned as the mentor of the Little Rock Nine, the first African Americans to attend Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. For guiding the Nine through one of the most tumultuous civil rights crises of the 1950s, she was selected as Woman of the Year in Education by the Associated Press in 1957 and was the only woman invited to speak at the Lincoln Memorial ceremony in the March on Washington in 1963. But her importance as a historical figure has been overlooked by scholars of the civil rights movement. Daisy Bates: Civil Rights Crusader from Arkansas chronicles her life and political advocacy before, during, and well after the Central High School crisis.

Sisters in the Struggle

In Sisters in the Struggle, we hear about the unsung heroes of the civil rights movements such as Ella Baker, who helped found the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, Fannie Lou Hamer, a sharecropper who took on segregation in the Democratic party (and won), and Septima Clark, who created a network of "Citizenship Schools" to teach poor Black men and women to read and write and help them to register to vote. We learn of Black women's activism in the Black Panther Party where they fought the police, as well as the entrenched male leadership, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, where the behind-the-scenes work of women kept the organization afloat when it was under siege. 

Invisible Activists

In Invisible Activists, Lee Sartain examines attitudes toward gender, class, and citizenship of African American activists in Louisiana and women's roles in the campaign for civil rights in the state. In the end, he argues, it was women working behind the scenes in Louisiana's branches of the NAACP who were the most crucial factor in the organization's efficiency and survival. Highly original and essential to a comprehensive study of the NAACP, Invisible Activists gives voice to the many individual women who sustained the influential civil rights organization during a time of severe racial oppression in Louisiana. Without such dedication, Sartain asserts, the organization would have had no substantial presence in the state.

From Southern Wrongs to Civil Rights

This first-hand account tells the story of turbulent civil rights era Atlanta through the eyes of a white upper-class woman who became an outspoken advocate for integration and racial equality. As a privileged white woman who grew up in segregated Atlanta, Sara Mitchell Parsons was an unlikely candidate to become a civil rights agitator. In a memoir that includes candid diary excerpts, Parsons chronicles her moral awakening. Her activities bring her into contact with such civil rights leaders as Martin Luther King, Jr., and his wife, Coretta Scott King. For a time, she leads a dual existence, sometimes traveling the great psychic distance from an NAACP meeting on Auburn Avenue to an all-white party in upscale Buckhead. 

Silent Voices

In a tribute to the unheard and often not understood Negro women of the south, Josephine Carson explores the lives of women with whom she lived, and interprets the voices that had been silenced for so long. She paints a detailed picture of the teachers, middle-class housewives, young college girls, nurses, domestic servants, and workers who struggled with the juxtaposition between their own identities and those society created for them. Carson shows what a significant contribution each made to the American Scene and how these women had their futures, religions, friends, jobs, and culture--but above all, they had a voice.

She Can Bring Us Home

An African American obstetrician and civil rights activist from Washington DC, Dorothy Ferebee was descended from lawyers, journalists, politicians, and a judge. At a time when African Americans faced Jim Crow segregation, desperate poverty, and lynch mobs, she advised presidents on civil rights and assisted foreign governments on public health issues. Ferebee was president of the Alpha Kappa Alpha black service sorority and later became the president of the powerful National Council of Negro Women in the nascent civil rights era. She stood up to gun-toting plantation owners to bring health care to sharecroppers through her Mississippi Health Project during the Great Depression. A household name in black America for forty years, Ferebee was also the media darling of the thriving black press. Ironically, her fame and relevance faded as African Americans achieved the political power for which she had fought. 

Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement

One of the most important African American leaders of the twentieth century and perhaps the most influential woman in the civil rights movement, Ella Baker (1903-1986) was an activist whose remarkable career spanned fifty years and touched thousands of lives. She was a national officer and key figure in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, one of the founders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and a prime mover in the creation of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Baker made a place for herself in predominantly male political circles that included W. E. B. Du Bois, Thurgood Marshall, and Martin Luther King Jr., all the while maintaining relationships with a vibrant group of women, students, and activists both black and white. 

Desert Rose

Desert Rose details Coretta Scott King's upbringing in a family of proud, land-owning African Americans with a profound devotion to the ideals of social equality and the values of education, as well as her later role as her husband's most trusted confidant and advisor.    Coretta Scott King--noted author, human rights activist, and wife and partner of famed Civil Rights Movement leader Martin Luther King Jr.--grew up in the rural Alabama Black Belt with her older sister, Edythe Scott Bagley. Bagley provides vivid insights into Coretta's early passion for racial and economic justice, which lead to her involvement in the Peace Movement and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Coretta's devotion to activism, motherhood, and the movement led by her husband, and her courageous assumption of the legacy left in the wake of King's untimely assassination, are wonderfully detailed in this intimate biography.

Freedom's Teacher

In the mid-1950s, Septima Poinsette Clark (1898-1987), a former public school teacher, developed a citizenship training program that enabled thousands of African Americans to register to vote and then to link the power of the ballot to concrete strategies for individual and communal empowerment. In this vibrantly written biography, Katherine Charron demonstrates Clark's crucial role--and the role of many black women teachers--in making education a cornerstone of the twentieth-century freedom struggle. Using Clark's life as a lens, Charron sheds valuable new light on southern black women's activism in national, state, and judicial politics, from the Progressive Era to the civil rights movement and beyond.

The Long Shadow of Little Rock

At an event honoring Daisy Bates as 1990's Distinguished Citizen then-governor Bill Clinton called her "the most distinguished Arkansas citizen of all time." Her classic account of the 1957 Little Rock School Crisis, The Long Shadow of Little Rock, couldn't be found on most bookstore shelves in 1962 and was banned throughout the South. In 1988, after the University of Arkansas Press reprinted it, it won an American Book Award. On September 25, 1957, Daisy Bates, an official of the NAACP in Arkansas, led the nine children into the school with the help of federal troops sent by President Eisenhower-the first time in eighty-one years that a president had dispatched troops to the South to protect the constitutional rights of black Americans. This new edition of Bates's own story about these historic events is being issued to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the Little Rock School crisis in 2007.

Civil Rights Movement

Freedom Facts and Firsts

Spanning nearly 400 years from the early abolitionists to the present, this guide book profiles more than 400 people, places, and events that have shaped the history of the black struggle for freedom. Coverage includes information on such mainstays as Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and Rosa Parks, but also delves into how lesser known figures, such as the Housewives' League of Detroit and Samuel Harold Lacy, contributed to and shaped the history of civil rights. This comprehensive resource chronicles the breadth and passion of an entire people's quest for freedom.

The House by the Side of the Road

The House by the Side of the Road is Richie Jean's firsthand account of the private meetings King and his lieutenants, including Ralph David Abernathy and John Lewis, held in the haven of the Jackson home. Richie Jean's fascinating account narrates how, in the fraught months of 1965 that preceded the Voting Rights March, King and his inner circle held planning sessions and met with Assistant Attorney General John Doar to negotiate strategies for the event. The major motion picture Selma now commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of Bloody Sunday and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. A gripping primary source, The House by the Side of the Road illuminates the private story whose public outcomes electrified the world and changed the course of American history.

Freedom Days

Day by day. Dream by dream. Victory by victory. "A book to be handed down--just like a family Bible--to be read by family member after family member, generation after generation." --Hattie Winston "I've added Freedom Days to my morning ritual of inspirational reading." --Fort Worth Star-Telegram "Janus Adams dazzles us with her poetic and inspirational interpretation of a critical juncture in our nation's history." --Sharon Robinson Director of Educational Programming, Major League Baseball "Each of the 365 short chapters in Freedom Days focuses on prominent landmarks along the sometimes torturous, sometimes jubilant journey toward the American dream." --The Bergen Record

Massive Resistance and Media Suppression

Wallace explores the role and methods of media suppression in the South during the civil rights movement and the southern "massive resistance" to integration. Segregationists understood the importance of public opinion to defending their social system, and, as a result, desperately fought to influence how the civil rights movement and segregation were defined for the nation. However, when certain national news coverage and the voices of a minority of southern journalists challenged the growing massive resistance extremism and the arguments used to preserve the "southern way of life," segregationists responded with organized attempts to silence criticism, dissent and public debate within the press.

Imprisoned in a Luminous Glare

In Imprisoned in a Luminous Glare, Leigh Raiford argues that over the past one hundred years activists in the black freedom struggle have used photographic imagery both to gain political recognition and to develop a different visual vocabulary about black lives. Raiford analyzes why activists chose photography over other media, explores the doubts some individuals had about the strategies, and shows how photography became an increasingly effective, if complex, tool in representing black political interests. By putting photography at the center of the long African American freedom struggle, Raiford also explores how the recirculation of these indelible images in political campaigns and art exhibits both adds to and complicates our memory of the events.

The Civil Rights Movement

This contribution to Salem Press's Magill's Choice series is a broadly conceived survey of the Civil Rights movement in the United States. In 319 alphabetically arranged essays, The Civil Rights Movement examines racial issues in all their manifestations

Fighting the Devil in Dixie

Examining the growth of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) following the birth of the civil rights movement, this book is filled with tales of the heroic efforts to halt their rise to power. Shortly after the success of the Montgomery bus boycott, the KKK—determined to keep segregation as the way of life in Alabama—staged a resurgence, and the strong-armed leadership of Governor George C. Wallace, who defied the new civil rights laws, empowered the Klan's most violent members. Dozens of exciting, extremely well-told stories demonstrate how blacks defied violence and whites defied public ostracism and indifference in the face of kidnappings, bombings, and murders.

Rhetoric, Religion, and the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1965

The Civil Rights Movement succeeded in large measure because of rhetorical appeals grounded in the Judeo-Christian religion. While movement leaders often used America's founding documents and ideals to depict Jim Crow's contradictory ways, the language and lessons of both the Old and New Testaments were often brought to bear on many civil rights events and issues--from local desegregation to national policy matters. This volume chronicles how national movement leaders and local activists moved a nation to live up to the biblical ideals it often professed but infrequently practiced.

When Freedom Would Triumph

When Freedom Would Triumph recalls the most significant and inspiring legislative battle of the twentieth century -- the two decades of struggle in the halls of Congress that resulted in civil rights for the descendants of American slaves. Robert Mann's comprehensive analysis shows how political leaders in Washington -- Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, John F. Kennedy, and others -- transformed the ardent passion for freedom -- the protests, marches, and creative nonviolence of the civil rights movement -- into concrete progress for justice. When Freedom Would Triumph, an abridged and updated version of Mann's The Walls of Jericho: Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, Richard Russell, and the Struggle for Civil Rights, is a captivating, thought-provoking reminder of the need for more effective government. 

Ring Out Freedom!

Martin Luther King, Jr. was more than the civil rights movement's most visible figure, he was its voice. This book describes what went into the creation of that voice. It explores how King used words to define a movement. From a place situated between two cultures of American society. King shaped the language that gave the movement its identity and meaning. Sunnemark examines King's use of allusions, his strategy of employing different meanings of key ideas to speak to different members of his audience, and the way he put into play international ideas and events to achieve certain rhetorical goals. The book concludes with an analysis of King's development after 1965, examining the roots, content, and consequences of his so-called radicalization.