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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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Chart of Votes for Freedom Candidates in Official Elections

A coalition of activists led by the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) initiated a statewide direct-action voter registration and education campaign in Mississippi. Although most remembered for 1964's Freedom Summer, when black and [...]

A Grassroots Civil Rights Activist Wants to "Wake Our People Up"

Though civil rights workers in Mississippi have often been characterized as young college students, both black and white, from out-of-state, the hard work of bringing potential voters to polls was usually done by local black Mississippians of all [...]

Tags: Voting
Item Type: Diary/Letter
Seattleites Welcome "New Thresholds in Housing"

Seattle's open housing advocates had been organizing and protesting for nine years when the city finally passed an open housing ordinance in 1968. Both the local ordinance and the federal Fair Housing Act of 1968 were passed partly in response to [...]

An Activist Explains the Conflicted Role of Women in the March on Washington

Dorothy Height became active in civil rights causes in the 1930s, working towards anti-lynching legislation, desegregation of the military, and other issues. In 1957 she was elected the president of the National Council of Negro Women, and was the [...]

A Feminist Draws Parallels Between African Americans' and Women's Rights

The March on Washington and other demonstrations finally brought Congress close to passing a sweeping civil rights bill in 1964. At the last moment, and to the surprise of many, "sex" was added to the clause that would prevent employment [...]

Fannie Lou Hamer Electrifies the Democratic Convention

Fannie Lou Hamer grew up as one of 20 children born to sharecroppers in rural Mississippi. She and her husband were eking out a living as sharecroppers near Ruleville when, at the age of 44, she decided to attend a mass meeting about voting in [...]

"CCC Youth Refuses To Fan Flies Off Officer"

This account from the Norfolk (Virginia) Journal and Guide, an African-American newspaper, describes the CCC's response to the dishonorable discharge of an African-American corpsman who refused to fan flies off of a white officer. After a protest by [...]

An Ex-Slave Petitions the Pennsylvania Legislature to Remain Free

Cato, a slave newly freed with his children, wrote this letter to Freeman's Journal, an African-American newspaper, when the Pennsylvania legislature was debating whether to repeal a recently passed law that gradually emancipated all slaves in the [...]

An African American Tells Why She Followed Malcolm X

Ethel Minor offers her perspective on the black freedom struggle in this 1997 interview with Catherine Osborn. A follower of Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam, Minor found the integrationist aims of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his followers [...]

Tags: Malcolm X
Item Type: Oral History
Bayard Rustin Reflects on the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

In this oral history Bayard Rustin offers his opinion about why the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, held on August 28, 1963, was a success. Rustin was an organizer of the march along with many others, including A. Philip Randolph, an [...]

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