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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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John Adams Argues for Limited Suffrage

Writing to his friend, James Sullivan, who was a member of the Massachusetts General Court, Adams sets forth his arguments against giving women, children, and property-less men the right to vote.

Martin Luther King Speaks Out Against Injustice

These two letters from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., composed four years apart, provide insight into the evolution of King's struggle against injustice. In the excerpt from "Letter from Birmingham Jail," written following King's arrest at a peaceful [...]

African-American Women Threaten a Bus Boycott in Montgomery

This letter from the Women's Political Council to the Mayor of Montgomery, Alabama, threatens a bus boycott by the city's African Americans if demands for fair treatment are not met.

The Declaration of Sentiments

Elizabeth Cady Stanton served for twenty years as the president of the National Woman Suffrage Association. She committed her life to the cause of political equality between men and women, which emerged out of her work as an abolitionist. The [...]

Prospectus for a Summer Freedom School Program in Mississippi (Excerpt)

This plan, written by Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) member Charles Cobb, proposed that SNCC include Freedom Schools as part of the massive organizing effort it was planning for the summer of 1964. SNCC was creating Freedom Summer [...]

SNCC Outlines a "Citizenship Curriculum" for Mississippi

This curriculum was created by members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) for their Freedom Schools, part of the Freedom Summer organizing effort that brought hundreds of college students from around the country to Mississippi [...]

An Alabama Literacy Test Keeps Black Voters Off the Rolls

Prior to the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, many southern (and some western) states had devised "literacy tests" and other voting requirements whose primary purpose was to deny African Americans the vote. The tests consisted of written [...]

Tags: Voting
The CIO Promotes Anti-Discrimination Legislation during World War II

This billboard advertisement, dating from the early 1940s, suggests the common ground shared by the labor and civil rights movements. Created by the Congress of Industrial Organizations, the more progressive of the country's two main labor [...]

"The FBI Wants Information About Three Missing Civil Rights Workers"

The three murdered civil rights workers from the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer Project are pictured on this FBI "missing" poster. On June 21st, Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and Michael Schwerner were abducted and killed by Klansmen in an effort [...]

"Straighten Up - And Come Right Down to the March on Washington Movement"

This poster, from A. Philip Randolph's planned March on Washington in 1941, illustrates several issues central to the march. The threat of a large-scale public protest persuaded President Roosevelt to issue Executive Order 8802, which banned [...]

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