The National Negro Congress was 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. This collection comprises of the voluminous working files of John P. Davis and successive executive secretaries of the National Negro Congress. Beginning with papers from 1933 that predate the formation of the National Negro Congress, the wide-ranging collection documents Davis’s involvement in the Negro Industrial League.
The National Negro Business League was a business organization founded in Boston, Massachusetts in 1900 by Booker T. Washington, with the support of Andrew Carnegie. The mission and main goal of the National Negro Business League was “to promote the commercial and financial development of the Negro.” This resource includes the National Negro Business League’s correspondence and memoranda, itineraries, lists, form letters, reports, press releases, speeches, programs and enrollment forms.
Sourced from the Federal Bureau of Investigation Library, Black Liberation Army and the Program of Armed Struggle consists of a wide range of materials, including FBI surveillance and informant reports and correspondence from a variety of offices including, New York City, Baltimore, New Haven, San Francisco, Detroit, Miami, Atlanta, Newark, Kansas City, and Cleveland; intercepted correspondence; Justice Department memoranda, correspondence and more.
In Black Nationalism and the Revolutionary Action Movement, a wealth of material from Ahmad’s personal archive – letters, speeches, financial records and more – are augmented with FBI files and other primary sources. The collection sheds light on 1960s radicalism, politics and culture, and provides an ideal foundation for coursework in African-American studies, radical studies, post-Colonial studies and social history.
Full-text searching of all issues of the Cleveland Call and Post published between 1934 and 1991. (An index to issues from 1992 to 2004 and full text for issues from 2005 to present is available in the Ethnic Newswatch database.) Cleveland’s longtime African American newspaper, the Call & Post was formed in 1927 by the merger of the Call and the Post. The paper’s rise to prominence began in 1932 with the arrival of William O. Walker (1896-1981), who became its publisher within a few years. A strong local voice for racial equality, the paper has long urged participation in politics and encouraged black solidarity and self-reliance.
Evangelism in Africa: Correspondence of the Board of Foreign Missions, 1835-1910 supports research in religious studies, African studies, women’s studies, international affairs and anthropology. Letters that served as reports from the field describe the indigenous peoples and cultures, tribal factionalism, cultural differences and mores, and the many problems and achievements of the work.
A collection of FBI reports comprising the Bureau’s investigative and surveillance efforts primarily between 1961 and 1976. The collected materials include Forman’s involvement with the “Black Manifesto” and the Bureau’s “COINTELPRO” investigations into “Black Nationalist – Hate Groups / Internal Security,” which includes information on the activities of SNCC. Date range: 1961-1976.
Federal Surveillance of African Americans, 1920-1984 (CPL Cardholders)
Between the early 1920s and early 1980s, the Justice Department and its Federal Bureau of Investigation engaged in widespread investigation of those deemed politically suspect. Prominent among the targets of this sometimes coordinated, sometimes independent 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. This resource includes the FBI files of two dozen prominent individuals and organizations, including the NAACP, Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, Thurgood Marshall, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Black Panther Party of North Carolina, and many others.
This collection comprises the Legal Case and Communist Party files of the Civil Rights Congress, documenting the many issues and litigation in which the CRC was involved during its 10-year existence. These papers provide valuable insight on the activities of the Civil Rights Congress, most notably in cases involving civil rights and civil liberties issues, such as those of Willie McGee (Mississippi), Rosa Lee Ingram (Georgia), Paul Washington (Louisiana), Robert Wesley Wells (California), the Trenton Six (New Jersey), the Martinsville Seven (Virginia), and many others.
When James Meredith sought to legally become the first African American to attend the University of Mississippi, the duty of upholding the federal law allowing him to do so fell upon the Justice Department and the FBI. Meredith launched a legal revolt against white supremacy in the most segregated state in America and the iconic institution, Ole Miss. This resource contains extensive FBI documentation on Meredith’s battle to enroll at the University of Mississippi in 1962 and white political and social backlash.
Militant Black nationalism and pan-Africanism influenced and paralleled African America’s interest in Africa. Africa’s entrance into the international arena and American Cold War politics helped fuel the Civil Rights and the Black Power movements of the 1960s and 1970s. The Black Liberation Movement supported and extended the influence of the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party (A-APRP) within the African-American community. This resource consists of a wide range of primary source materials, such as FBI surveillance and informant reports and correspondence from a variety of offices including, Cleveland, NYC, Baltimore, New Haven, and Detroit and many others.
The collection consists of materials from the years 1913 through 1998 that document African American author and activist Amiri Baraka. The extensive documentation includes poetry, organizational records, print publications, articles, plays, speeches, personal correspondence, oral histories, as well as some personal records. The materials cover Baraka’s involvement in the politics in Newark, N.J. and in Black Power movement organizations such as the Congress of African People, the National Black Conference movement, the Black Women’s United Front. Later materials document Baraka’s increasing involvement in Marxism.
The Republic of New Afrika (RNA) was a social movement organization that proposed three objectives. First of these objectives was the creation of an independent Black-majority country composed of the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina and the Black-majority counties adjacent to this area in Arkansas, Tennessee and Florida. Second, they demanded $400 billion in reparations for the injustices suffered by African Americans during the slavery and segregation periods. Third, they demanded a referendum of all African Americans in order to decide what should be done with their citizenry. This collection consists of a range of primary source documents, including newspapers, leaflets, books, pamphlets and more.
A unique achievement in the field of historic archives, this resource consists of millions of cross-searchable pages sourced from books, pamphlets, newspapers, periodicals, legal documents, court records, monographs, manuscripts and maps from many different countries documenting the African slave trade. Content is divided into these broad categories: Debates over Slavery and Abolition, Slave Trade in the Atlantic World, and the Age of Emancipation.
This collection contains the correspondence of both Esther Cooper and James E. Jackson, James Jackson’s lectures, research notebooks, speeches, and writings (published and unpublished), subject files, correspondence, internal documents and printed ephemera pertaining to the Southern Negro Youth Congress and the periodical Freedomways. 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).
To test President John F. Kennedy’s commitment to civil rights, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) proposed a Journey of Reconciliation. The “Freedom Ride” had an interracial group boarding buses destined for the South. At rest stops, whites would go into blacks-only areas and vice versa. “I think all of us were prepared for as much violence as could be thrown at us,” said CORE director James Farmer. “We were prepared for the possibility of death.” This resource includes surveillance reports, chronologies, witness statements and more.