The Civil Rights Movement in the United States coincided with rapid changes in a variety of news and communications media. The expansion of television and documentary filmmaking brought images of the struggles of African Americans and those who supported civil rights into the homes of the American populace. However, control of the tone and content of electronic media was not always in the hands of those who were being documented. It was the democratization of various printed media that allowed civil rights leaders, workers, and organizations to circulate their combined, and sometimes contradictory, voices.
This digital collection is an expansion of the exhibition The Revolution Will Not Be...: Print Culture of the Civil Rights Movement held at the Amistad Research Center in 2011. As the nation’s oldest, largest, and arguably most comprehensive independent archives/library documenting the modern Civil Rights Movement, the Amistad Research Center has brought together relevant documents from a variety of archival collections, including the papers of activists such as John O’Neal Papers, Fannie Lou Hamer Papers, Clarie Collins Harvey, Connie Harse, John Lee Tilley, as well as the Eric Steele Wells collection, the Center’s own ephemera collection, and other sources. This project highlights the newspapers, posters, broadsides, pamphlets, fliers, and other printed ephemera produced by student and community groups, leading civil rights organizations, and individuals, which documented a revolutionary era.
Students, teachers, researchers, and others are encouraged to contact the Center about this digital collection and related materials on the Civil Rights Movement held at Amistad. For more information, please visit the Center’s website (http://www.amistadresearchcenter.org/)