Civil Rights Movement

for civil rights were a worldwide series of political movements for equality
before the law that peaked in the 1960s. In many situations it took the form
of campaigns of civil resistance aimed at achieving change through nonviolent
forms of resistance. In some situations it was accompanied, or followed, by
civil unrest and armed rebellion. The process was long and tenuous in many
countries, and many of these movements did not fully achieve their goals,
although the efforts of these movements did lead to improvements in the legal
rights of previously oppressed groups of people.

are files of prominent people and events.

following file is archived here for historical reference, and may contain
language and references that are offensive to some people.

Civil Rights Movement FBI Files

Communist Party and the Negro, February 1953

[ 114 Pages, 4.75 MB ] – Excerpt: Since its organization in this
country in 1919, the Communist Party, USA, has devoted an inordinate portion
of its time, funds, propaganda and personnel to recruiting members from among
the fifteen million Negroes who comprise almost ten percent of our total
population. The failure of its efforts in this respect is best attested to by
the fact that it can be estimated that there are at present only 1,994
active, disciplined, dues-paying Negro members in the Communist Party. Of
course, in addition to this figure,  there are approximately 18,000
other Negroes who have some contact with the Party, and its front groups, and
who, to a certain degree, influenced directly or -indirectly by its program,
propaganda and agitation.


16th St. Church Bombing16th
Street Baptist Church Bombing
– [ 242 Pages, 12.45 MB ] – The
16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama was bombed on Sunday,
September 15, 1963 as an act of racially motivated terrorism. The explosion
at the African-American church, which killed four girls, marked a turning
point in the United States 1960s Civil Rights Movement and contributed to
support for passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

 – [ 1,558 Pages, 52MB ] – Ralph
David Abernathy, Sr. (March 11, 1926 – April 17, 1990) was a leader of the
Civil Rights Movement, a minister, and Martin Luther King Jr.’s closest
friend. In 1955, he collaborated with King to create the Montgomery
Improvement Association, which would lead to the Montgomery Bus Boycott. In
1957, Abernathy co-founded, and was an executive board member of the
Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Following the
assassination of King, Abernathy became president of the SCLC. As president
of the SCLC, he led the Poor People’s Campaign in Washington, D.C. during
1968. Abernathy also served as an advisory committee member of the Congress
on Racial Equality (CORE). He later returned to the ministry, and in 1989 —
the year before his death — Abernathy wrote, And the Walls Came Tumbling
Down: An Autobiography, a controversial autobiography about his and King’s
involvement in the civil rights movement.

Lillie Belle AllenAllen,
Lillie Belle
 – [ 45 Pages, 1.39 MB ] – On
July 21, Lillie Belle Allen, a black woman from Aiken, S.C., who was
visiting York with her parents, was riding in a car driven by her sister,
Hattie Dickinson. Dickinson turned the car onto North Newberry Street and
was looking for a grocery store when she saw a man with a gun leaning out
of a second-story window. Multiple members of two all-white gangs, the
Newberry Street Boys and the Girarders, were on the street that night, and
many of them were armed. Dickinson began to turn around in the intersection
of Newberry Street and Gay Avenue but the car stalled. As more armed white
men began coming onto their porches, Dickinson panicked. Her parents, who
were in the back seat, beging praying. Her older sister, Lillie Belle
Allen, jumped out of the car to get to the driver’s seat and take the
wheel. She flailed her arms screaming, “Don’t shoot!” Multiple shooters
opened fire from the street, rooftops and windows, fatally wounding Allen.
More than one hundred rounds were fired at the car, and Allen was shot by
several different types of bullets.

Louis AllenAllen,
 – [ 93 Pages, 7.87 MB ] – Louis
Allen (April 25, 1919 – January 31, 1964) was an African American logger
and civil rights activist in the small town of Liberty, Mississippi. He
allegedly witnessed the murder of a fellow activist by a white state
legislator, and was himself murdered when he approached federal authorities
about the killing. Despite a consensus among investigators that Allen was
killed by Amite County’s sheriff, no one has been prosecuted for the


Marian AndersonAnderson,
 – [ 122 Pages,  8.93MB ]
– Marian Anderson (February 27, 1897 – April 8, 1993) was an
African-American contralto and one of the most celebrated singers of the
twentieth century. Music critic Alan Blyth said “Her voice was a rich, vibrant
contralto of intrinsic beauty.” Most of her singing career was spent
performing in concert and recital in major music venues and with famous
orchestras throughout the United States and Europe between 1925 and 1965.
Although offered roles with many important European opera companies,
Anderson declined, as she had no training in acting. She preferred to
perform in concert and recital only. She did, however, perform opera arias
within her concerts and recitals. She made many recordings that reflected
her broad performance repertoire of everything from concert literature to
lieder to opera to traditional American songs and spirituals.[2] Anderson
became an important figure in the struggle for black artists to overcome
racial prejudice in the United States during the mid-twentieth century.

Richard BarrettBarrett,
 – [ 242 Pages, 12.45 MB ]
– Richard Anthony Barrett Richard Anthony Barrett (1934-2010) was a
leader of several white supremacist groups. In 1987, following a rally in
Cummings, Georgia, Barrett received a death threat that he reported to the
FBI. This release consists of five different investigations conducted
between 1967 and 2003 in which Barrett was either a subject of the case or
was mentioned in another investigation

James FarmerBlack
Guerilla Family
 – [ 456 Pages, 17.18 MB ]
– The Black Guerrilla Family (also known as the Black Family or the
Black Vanguard) is a prison and street gang founded in 1966 by George
Jackson and W.L. Nolen while they were incarcerated at San Quentin State
Prison in Marin County, California, north of San Francisco.

Stokely CarmichaelCarmichael,
 – [ 456 Pages, 20.12 MB ]
– Stokely Carmichael (also Kwame Ture; June 29, 1941 – November 15,
1998) was a Trinidadian-American black activist active in the 1960s
American Civil Rights Movement. Growing up in the United States from the
age of eleven, he graduated from Howard University and rose to prominence
in the civil rights and Black Power movements, first as a leader of the
Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC, pronounced “snick”) and
later as the “Honorary Prime Minister” of the Black Panther Party.

Cesar Chavez Chavez,
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 ] – Cesar Chavez (born César Estrada Chávez, (March 31, 1927 –
April 23, 1993) was an American farm worker, labor leader and civil rights activist,
who, with Dolores Huerta, co-founded the National Farm Workers Association
(later the United Farm Workers union, UFW).

ruby dee Dee, Ruby
[1 Pages, 0.5MB] – Ruby Dee (October 27, 1922 – June 11, 2014) was an
American actress, poet, playwright, screenwriter, journalist and civil
rights activist. She is perhaps best known for originating the role of
“Ruth Younger” in the stage and film versions of A Raisin in the Sun
(1961). Her other notable film roles include The Jackie Robinson Story
(1950), and Do the Right Thing (1989).

Unfortunately, the National Archives found
hundreds of pages on Ruby Dee, but are charging me .80 cents per page. I am
archiving this here so others know this file is available either at the
NARA branch itself (reference this FOIA request and file number) or via
payment. If you’d like to “sponsor” the retrieval of this document, please CONTACT

Dubois DuBois,
William E.B.
 – [ File #1 | File #2 | File #3 | File #4 | File #5 ]
– William E.B. DuBois, former Director of Publications of the National
Association for the Advancement of Colored People, was of interest to the
FBI due to his affiliation with communist front groups.

Medgar EvansEvers,
 – [ 236 Pages, 17.55 MB ] – Medgar
Wiley Evers (July 2, 1925 – June 12, 1963) was an African-American civil
rights activist from Mississippi involved in efforts to overturn
segregation at the University of Mississippi. After returning from overseas
military service in World War II and completing his secondary education, he
became active in the civil rights movement. He became a field secretary for
the NAACP.

Wallace FardFard,
 – [ File # 1 | File # 2 |
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– Miscellaneous information about Wallace D. Fard, who is said to be the
original founder of the Black Muslim movement.

James FarmerFarmer,
James L.
 – [ 338 Pages, 18.58 MB ] – James
Leonard Farmer, Jr. (January 12, 1920 – July 9, 1999) was a civil rights
activist and leader in the American Civil Rights Movement. He was the
initiator and organizer of the 1961 Freedom Ride, which eventually led to
the desegregation of inter-state transportation in the United States. In
1942, Farmer co-founded the Committee of Racial Equality, which later
became the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), an organization that sought
to bring an end to racial segregation in the United States through nonviolence.
Farmer was the organization’s first leader, serving as the national
chairman from 1942 to 1944. He was an honorary vice chairman in the
Democratic Socialists of America.

Freedom Riders Freedom
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 ] [ 4,285 Total Pages] – Freedom Riders were civil rights
activists who rode interstate buses into the segregated southern United
States in 1961 and following years to challenge the non-enforcement of the
United States Supreme Court decisions Irene Morgan v. Commonwealth of
Virginia (1946) and Boynton v. Virginia (1960), which ruled that segregated
public buses were unconstitutional. The Southern states had ignored the
rulings and the federal government did nothing to enforce them. The first
Freedom Ride left Washington, D.C., on May 4, 1961, and was scheduled to
arrive in New Orleans on May 17.

Fannie Lou HamerHamer,
Fannie Lou
 – [ 554 Pages, 28.68 MB ] – Fannie
Lou Hamer (1917-1977) was a voting rights activist and civil rights leader.
In June 1963, she and several other voting rights activists were arrested
at a Mississippi bus station. This release concerns the FBI’s investigation
into possible civil rights violations relating to that arrest.

Fred HamptonHampton,
 – [ 194 Pages, 8.01 MB ] – Fred
Hampton (August 30, 1948 – December 4, 1969) was an African-American
activist and deputy chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther
Party (BPP). He was killed while sleeping in his apartment during a raid by
a tactical unit of the Cook County, Illinois State’s Attorney’s Office
(SAO), in conjunction with the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and the
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Hampton’s murder was chronicled in
the 1971 documentary film The Murder of Fred Hampton, as well as an episode
of the critically acclaimed documentary series Eyes on the Prize.

Benjamin HooksHooks,
 – [ 223 Pages, 10.65 MB ] – Benjamin
Lawson Hooks (1925-2010) was a civil rights leader who served as the
director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
(NAACP) for more than a decade. This release consists of a background
investigation file with materials dated 1972-1980 and several investigative
files concerning threats against Hooks or the NAACP between 1987 and 1990.

Claudia JonesJones,
– [ 805 Pages, 42.85 MB ] – Claudia
Cumberbatch Jones (15 February 1915—24 December 1964) was a Trinidadian
journalist, who became a political activist and black nationalist through

Coretta Scott KingKing,
Coretta Scott
 – [ 976 Pages, 19.76MB ] – Coretta
Scott King (April 27, 1927 – January 30, 2006) was an American author,
activist, and civil rights leader. The widow of Martin Luther King, Jr.,
Coretta Scott King helped lead the African-American Civil Rights Movement
in the 1960s. Mrs. King played a prominent role in the years after her
husband’s 1968 assassination when she took on the leadership of the
struggle for racial equality herself and became active in the Women’s
Movement and the LGBT rights movement.

 Rodney KingKing, Rodney – [ 725 Pages, 53 MB ] – Rodney
Glen King (1965-2012) was the victim of an abusive arrest by Los Angeles
police officers on March 3, 1991. Two officers involved in the arrest were
found guilty of depriving King of his civil rights. This 725-page release
of material from the FBI’s color of law investigation consists almost
exclusively of news clippings related to the case.

 MLK Jr.King,
Jr., Martin Luther
 – [ File #1 | File #2 ]

KKKKu Klux
 – [ 676 Pages, 22.57 MB ] – The first Ku
Klux Klan flourished in the Southern United States in the late 1860s, then
died out by the early 1870s. Members adopted white costumes: robes, masks,
and conical hats, designed to be outlandish and terrifying, and to hide
their identities. The second KKK flourished nationwide in the early and
mid-1920s, and adopted the same costumes and code words as the first Klan,
while introducing cross burnings. The third KKK emerged after World War II
and was associated with opposing the Civil Rights Movement and progress among
minorities. The second and third incarnations of the Ku Klux Klan made
frequent reference to the USA’s “Anglo-Saxon” blood, harking back to
19th-century nativism and claiming descent from the original 18th-century
British colonial revolutionaries.

 Albert J. LingoLingo,
Albert J.
 – [ 90 Pages, 29.88 MB ] – Colonel
Albert J. Lingo, also known as Al Lingo (January 22, 1910 – August 19,
1969) was a career Alabama Highway Patrolman who served as Director of the
Alabama Department of Public Safety from 1963 to 1965, including the turbulent
early 1960s years marked by marches and demonstrations that characterized
the civil rights movement in the U.S. South. Lingo’s service under Alabama
governor George Wallace with regard to the Selma to Montgomery marches has
been characterized in a negative light, though Lingo himself disputed that
characterization, stating that he was following orders as required by his
oath of office. He resigned as director effective October 1, 1965, and
later ran for election to be sheriff of Jefferson County, Alabama; he died
at age 59 on August 17, 1969. (Source: Ernie Lazar)

Albert J. LingoLiuzzo,
 – [ 1,535 Pages, 76.47 MB ] – Viola
Fauver Gregg Liuzzo (April 11, 1925 – March 25, 1965) was a Unitarian
Universalist civil rights activist from Michigan, who was murdered by Ku
Klux Klan members after the 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches in Alabama.
One of the Klansmen in the car from which the shots were fired was a
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) informant. Liuzzo’s name is one of
those inscribed on a civil rights memorial in the state capital. She died
at the age of 39.

 Malcolm X Malcolm X –
 | Part
 | Part
 ] – Malcom X was the Minister of the Nation of Islam up to
March 1964. He left the Nation of Islam and formed the Muslim Mosque, Inc.
and the Organization of Afro-American Unity. Malcom X was assassinated in
1965 while delivering a speech in New York City. Norman Butler, Thomas
Johnson and Talmage Hayer were convicted of Malcom X’s murder and all three
were sentenced to life in prison. The FBI investigated Malcom X to verify
communist influence.

Mississippi BurningMississippi
Burning (MIBURN)
 – [ 1,049 Pages, 55.13 MB ]
– Three American civil rights’ workers, James Earl Chaney, Andrew
Goodman, and Michael “Mickey” Schwerner, were shot at close range on the
night of June 21–22, 1964 by members of the Mississippi White Knights of
the Ku Klux Klan, the Neshoba County’s Sheriff Office and the Philadelphia
Police Department located in Philadelphia, Mississippi. The three had been
working on the “Freedom Summer” campaign, attempting to register African
Americans to vote. Their murders sparked national outrage and a massive
federal investigation. The Federal Bureau of Investigation referred to this
investigation as Mississippi Burning (MIBURN), and eventually found the
bodies 44 days later in an earthen dam near the murder site. After the
state government refused to prosecute, the federal government initially
charged 18 individuals but was only able to secure convictions for seven of
them, who received relatively minor sentences for their actions. However,
outrage over their deaths assisted in the passing of the Civil Rights Act
of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

 – [ 732 Pages, 26.06 MB ] – The
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is an
African-American civil rights organization in the United States, formed in
1909. Its mission is “to ensure the political, educational, social, and
economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred
and racial discrimination”. Its name, retained in accordance with
tradition, uses the once common term colored people. The NAACP bestows the
annual Image Awards for achievement in the arts and entertainment, and the
annual Spingarn Medals for outstanding positive achievement of any kind, on
deserving black Americans. It has its headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland.

Nation of IslamNation
of Islam
 – [ 321 Pages, 14.26 MB ] – The
Nation of Islam (NOI) is a syncretic new religious movement founded in
Detroit, Michigan by Wallace D. Fard Muhammad in July 1930. The Nation of
Islam’s stated goals are to improve the spiritual, mental, social, and
economic condition of African Americans in the United States and all of
humanity. Its critics accuse it of being black supremacist[2] and
antisemitic. The Southern Poverty Law Center states NOI’s “theology of
innate black superiority over whites and the deeply racist, anti-Semitic
and anti-gay rhetoric of its leaders have earned the NOI a prominent
position in the ranks of organized hate.”

 National Council of Churches National
Council of Churches
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 16.50MB ] – [ 6,530 Total Pages ] – The National
Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, usually identified as the
National Council of Churches (NCC), is an ecumenical partnership of 37
Christian faith groups in the United States. Its member denominations,
churches, conventions, and archdioceses include Mainline Protestant,
Orthodox, African American, Evangelical, and historic peace churches.
Together, they encompass more than 100,000 local congregations and 45
million adherents. It began as the Federal Council of Churches in 1908, and
expanded through merger with several other ecumenical organizations to
become the National Council of Churches in 1950. The NCC’s influence peaked
in the 1950s, deriving its strength from a commitment to ecumenism, while
the NCC’s strident antiwar position against the Vietnam War in the 1960s
alienated the laity leading to a decline in influence thereafter. (Source:
Ernie Lazar)

Mack Charles Parker Parker,
Mack Charles
 – [ 377 Pages, 20.58 MB ] – Mack
Charles Parker (1936 – April 24, 1959) was an African-American victim of
lynching in the United States. He was accused of ramping a pregnant white
woman in northern Pearl River County, Mississippi. Three days before he was
to stand trial, he was kidnapped from his jail cell in the Pearl River
County Courthouse by a mob, beaten and shot. His body was found in the
Pearl River, 20 miles west of Poplarville, 10 days later. Despite evidence
compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and indictment by a
federal grand jury, the men who killed him were released.

Leander Perez Perez,
 – [ 285 Pages, 19.49 MB ] – Leander
Henry Perez, Sr. (July 16, 1891 – March 19, 1969), was the Democratic
political boss of Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes in southeastern
Louisiana during the middle third of the 20th century. Officially, he
served as a district judge, later as district attorney, and as president of
the Plaquemines Parish Commission Council. He was known for his staunch
support of segregation.

 Malcolm X Randolph,
A. Phillip
 – [ File
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(April 15, 1889 – May 16, 1979) was a leader in the African-American
civil-rights movement, the American labor movement and socialist political
parties. He organized and led the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the
first predominantly black labor union. In the early civil-rights movement,
Randolph led the March on Washington Movement, which convinced President
Franklin D. Roosevelt to issue Executive Order 8802 in 1941, banning
discrimination in the defense industries during World War II. After the war
Randolph pressured President Harry S. Truman to issue Executive Order 9981
in 1948, ending segregation in the armed services. (Source:
Ernie Lazar)

Paul Robeson Robeson,
Paul –
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 60.84MB ] – [ 2,840 Total Pages ] –  Paul Leroy
Robeson (April 9, 1898 – January 23, 1976) was an African-American singer
and actor who became involved with the Civil Rights Movement. At
university, he was an outstanding American football player, then had an
international career in singing, as well as acting in theater and cinema.
He became politically involved in response to the Spanish Civil War,
Fascism, and social injustices. His advocacy of anti-imperialism,
affiliation with Communism, and his criticism of the US government caused
him to be blacklisted during McCarthyism. Ill health forced him into
retirement from his career. He remained an advocate of the unpopular
political stances he took until his death.

Bayard Rustin Rustin,
 – [ 434 Pages, 25.46MB ] – Bayard
Rustin (1912-1987) was a civil rights activist and counselor to Dr. Martin
Luther King, Jr. Mr. Rustin was investigated for his ties to the Communist
Party of the USA. These files are primarily dated during the 1960s.

Mario SavioSavio,
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(1942-1996) was a political and human rights activist from the University
of California at Berkeley who became the voice of the Free Speech Movement.
He was investigated by the FBI from July 1964 until January 1975, following
his arrest in March 1964 at a civil rights demonstration in San Francisco.

Betty Shabazz Shabazz,
 – [ 400 Pages, 16.94 MB ] – Betty
Shabazz (1934-1997) born Betty Sanders, aka “Betty X”, was a civil rights
advocate and the wife of Malcolm X. The files in this release range from
1958 to 1970.

Emmett Till Till,
 – [ 291 Pages, 9.53 MB ] – Emmett Till
Emmett Louis Till (1945-1955) was murdered while visiting relatives in
LeFlore, Mississippi. In 1955, two suspects were tried for the murder, but
acquitted. In May 2004, the FBI reopened the investigation to determine if
other individuals were involved. This release consists of the FBI’s 2006
“Prosecutive Report” on the matter and includes a type-copy of the
transcript of the first trial as an appendix.

White Supremecist White
Supremecist Groups
– [ 78 Pages, 10.94MB ]
– White supremacy is the belief of, and/or promotion of the belief,
that white people are superior to people of other racial backgrounds and
that therefore whites should politically, economically and socially
dominate non-whites. The term is also used to describe a political ideology
that perpetuates and maintains the social, political, historical and/or
industrial dominance of whites. Different forms of white supremacy have
different conceptions of who is considered white, and different white
supremacist identify various groups as their primary enemy.

 Roy Wilkins Wilkins,
 – [ 1,035 Pages, 48.05 MB ] –  Roy
Wilkins (August 30, 1901 – September 8, 1981) was a prominent civil rights activist
in the United States from the 1930s to the 1970s. Wilkins’ most notable
role was in his leadership of the National Association for the Advancement
of Colored People (NAACP). (Source: Ernie Lazar)

franklin williams Williams,
Franklin Hall
 – [170 Pages, 8.9 MB ] –
 Franklin H. Williams (1917–1990) was a lawyer and civil rights leader
in the United States. As an assistant to Thurgood Marshall he represented
the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People before
courts in criminal cases throughout the South. In 1950 he was appointed
director of the NAACP’s western region where for 9 years he directed drives
involving open housing, school desegregation and civil rights.

Richard Wright Wright,
 – [ 180 Pages, 9.34 MB ] –  Richard
Nathaniel Wright (September 4, 1908 – November 28, 1960) was an
African-American author of sometimes controversial novels, short stories,
poems, and non-fiction. Much of his literature concerns racial themes,
especially those involving the plight of African Americans during the late
19th to mid-20th centuries. His work helped change race relations in the
United States in the mid-20th century.