This May 12, 1860 edition of the New York Weekly Tribune features three interesting slave-related articles. “A deplorable instance of the mental darkness and obliquity of the African race has just been brought to light. An ebony chattel calling himself William Bracker—a name which probably belongs to his master—most ungratefully tired of working for such hog and hominy as is freely accorded to chattels in the patriarchal State of South Carolina—resolved to commit a grand larceny of his own body and bones, hide, features and wool—as villainous chattels have been known to do ere now—and, to this end, stowed himself away on board the steamship…If that negro should ever again be caught aboard of a vessel chartered by a regiment of Democratic officeholders and office-seekers, in the hope of thus escaping slavery, he will deserve for his stupidity a far severer flogging than his master has now in store for him.”… Continue reading
This is an August 25, 1863 letter from abolitionist John Van Fleet whose home was used as a safe house on the Underground Railroad in Ohio. Two years before the end of slavery and the end of the Civil War, Van Fleet writes this cryptic letter to Mr. Harkness where he states that “I have been talking with some…they seem to express an anxious feeling to see you there.” “I have been sorry at times that I entered into a compromise of our matters.” “Come over at your earliest convenience and I will meet you any place designated.” “PS} You may Direct to Canton as I will be there considerable of the time for a while to come.“ Direct slaves? While “You may direct to…” was a common phrase to designate where to direct written correspondence, one cannot help but wonder if, since Van Fleet was an Underground Railroad safe house operator, this phrase has a critically important double meaning–especially with his ambiguous reference to “our matters.” It is signed “J.P. Van Fleet” After the PS, he signs “JPVF”
Published in 1956 and used in Virginia classrooms through the late 1970’s, Virginia: History, Government, Geography by Francis B. Simkins and Spotswood H. Jones, and Sidman P. Poole describes the life of a Virginia slave as “happy”, “cheerful”, and “prosperous.”
“.…The Negroes learned also to enjoy the work and play of the plantations…Virginia offered a better life for the Negroes than did Africa…”
This October 8, 1822 edition of the General Advertiser (Easton, MD) has a total of 15 slave-related advertisements including one that says, “RANAWAY or was kinappped…a negro woman named HARRIET, who has a white male child, about one year old…Her child is named William Alford Henry, but generally called Alford. She has generally been used to house work, such as plain cooking, &c. and is much addicted to snuff rubbing…” Continue reading
This vintage 12 pound brass fire nozzle is stamped “BFD 23” to designate its use from the Birmingham, Alabama Fire Station #23. One of the most iconic and disturbing moments of the Civil Rights Movement was when the Commissioner of Public Safety, Bull Connor, ordered the Birmingham, Alabama Fire Department to use fire hoses on men, women, and children demonstrators. “Connor ordered the city’s fire hoses, set at a level that would peel bark off a tree or separate bricks from mortar, to be turned on the children. Boys’ shirts were ripped off, and young women were pushed over the tops of cars by the force of the water. Continue reading
This menu is from the nightclub that Malcolm X describes affectionately in his autobiography. Malcolm X worked there as a day waiter between 1942 and 1943. At Smalls, Malcolm makes a good impression on the customers and on his employers, and learns various hustling techniques, the etiquette of the Harlem underworld, and the history of the neighborhood. With his tips, Malcolm begins to invest a lot of money in the numbers racket, the popular unofficial lottery in Harlem. Continue reading
Original manuscript document signed, one page, 8×10, Washington County, District of Columbia, January 15, 1822. Fine condition, with some age wear.
This is The Natchez Weekly Courier from September 24, 1856. It is a four-page weekly that is COMPLETE and in fine condition. There are nine different slave advertisements with two of them illustrated; four of the slave ads are relating to runaways. One of the slave ads is for Lewis, a 26-year-old runaway with the horrific statement, “…a scar under his left eye, and he has been badly whipped.” I have never seen a more haunting statement in a runaway slave advertisement. Click for six more photos… Continue reading
This is the book African-Americans would use (when traveling) to know where to find a hotel or restaurant that would accept African-Americans. The traveler’s guide has all cities and states, and includes the addresses for the facilities it recommends . It is fascinating to look up your city and see what hotels, restaurants, and vacation spots (of those that have survived) that permitted the patronage of African-Americans in the 1950’s. The Green Book is from 1958; published by the Esso Men. Continue reading
This March 13, 1855 edition of the New York Tribune includes an article about an advertisement for “Negro Dogs.” It states, “I would inform the citizens of Holmes County that i still have my NEGRO DOGS and that they are in good training and ready to attend to all calls of hunting and catching RUNAWAY NEGROES at the following rates. For hunting per day, five dollars Continue reading
This August 30, 1828 edition of the National Intelligencer has 7 slave ads. One advertises a FORTY DOLLARS REWARD for a 17 or 18-year-old named William. “He is of a bright yellow complexion…his hair nearly straight; is an excellent house servant and waiter, and unusually smart and intelligent for one of his color.” Another advertises FIFTY DOLLARS REWARD for SYE. “When he left home had a swollen face and a cut finger occasioned from an attack made by him on his overseer a few days before he absconded. His wife is living in Washington City, with Mr. John Baker, who hires Continue reading
This Real Estate and Personal Property tax document mentions “poll tax” for “Negro” J.A. Bebee, but it is signed W.T. Beebe in Beaufort County, North Carolina (in Washington “township”). Note that both the signed first and last names are different than the name printed on the front of the document, suggesting that the printed name on page one is a clerical error. This is historically very interesting because J.A. Beebe bought his freedom for $2300 and made a name for himself in Beaufort, North Carolina first as a pastor and then Bishop, establishing many CME churches around the country… Continue reading
This September 6, 1828 edition of The National Intelligencer (Washington D.C.) has a total of 5 slave ads. The first offers “FORTY DOLLARS REWARD” for “my Negro Woman, LETTY BROWN, taking with her, her two children, Bob and Dave…she is about 35 or 40 years of age. Bob is about 7 years of age…and carries his head on one side. Dave is about two years of age, of a yellow complexion…he has, also, a scar on the right or left arm, just above the elbow, occasioned by a burn which he received a few days before he was taken from my residence. The said woman and her children were taken off on Sunday night…by a yellow man of George Calvert’s, living near Bladensburgh, who calls himself Tarlton Brown, and who owns her as his wife.” Continue reading
This 1914 deed is for the transfer of a house in Jefferson County, Kentucky. While no address is given, the lot is listed (including deed book and page number). This deed is through the Louisville Title Company. The deed states that “said property shall never be sold or leased to any person or persons of African descent.” Parties involved
DeBow’s Review was the most widely circulated southern periodical during the mid-19th century. Before the Civil War, the magazine would recommend the “best practices” for making slavery profitable. In this collection, two issues are presented, May of 1860 and April of 1866. In this 1860 edition, under a section titled “PECULIARITIES AND DISEASES OF NEGROES” on p. 597-598 (click 2 graphics above), the author notes “In the diet and clothing, as well as in the houses of the negro, his feeble heat-generating powers should be strictly regarded….It has been before stated that the best food of this class fat bacon and pork, corn and peas, as these abound in oil which is a heat-generating element; while corn is also valuable as an element of strength and muscular growth. Besides these, negroes should be liberally supplied with garden vegetables, and with milk and molasses, occasionally, at least….What shall be done with the little “niggers” who are so prone to commence their depredations on the orchard while it is yet in the bud? I would suggest that the orchard be set some distance from the house, and that no negro, small or great, be allowed to visit it except one or two to bring supplies to the rest Continue reading
This 382 page book is in good condition for being 115 years old. The author is Charles Carroll who claimed that blacks are more akin to apes than to human beings, and theorized that blacks had been the “tempters of Eve.” Carroll said that mulatto brutes were the rapists and murderers of his time (pp. 167, 191, 290-202) and that they should be killed. You will notice (in the photo) a red cloth bookmark; I’m not sure if it’s original, but it matches perfectly. The rebuttal to this book Is the Negro A Beast? was published in 1901 and is also in this collection (see “Racism” category).
Is the Negro a Beast?: A Reply to Chas. Carroll’s Book Entitled “The Negro A Beast”, Proving that the Negro is Human from Biblical, Scientific, and Historical Standpoints. Written by William G. Schell, this book is a refutation of the scurrilous book The Negro A Beast or In the Image of God?, apparently popular in Southern US around the turn of the century, which attempted to justify the enslavement of those of African descent, since they “weren’t really human.” The controversial book that this book is refuting is also available in this collection (see other post in the “Racism” category).
This typed letter was SIGNED by the infamous segregationist Governor George C. Wallace on June 5, 1964, while Governor of the State of Alabama. In this anti-Civil Rights document, we such quotes as “…As you know I am currently running in Presidential Primaries throughout the country and already have received an overwhelming protest vote against the Civil Rights bill…I believe that the majority of the people of this country do not wish to see this bill passed…“
In Chapter 5 titled “Patterns of Immigration”, this 2016 World Geography textbook from McGraw Hill says “The Atlantic Slave Trade between the 1500’s and 1800’s brought millions of workers from Africa to the southern United States to work on agricultural plantations.” It also says “One of the defining attributes of the United States is that it is largely a country of immigrants and their descendants. About 13 percent of people in the United States are foreign born, while Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians make up about 2 percent of the population. The remaining population is descended from immigrants.” Here is the story of how everything “hit the fan” when an African-American mother looked carefully at her son’s Continue reading
This 1949 advertisement for the movie “Lost Boundaries” measures 10″x 6.5″ and appears to be for a theater in Alexandria, Virginia. It says, “If he revealed his secret it would blast four lives wide open!! So out-of-the-ordinary, you’ll HAVE TO SEE IT TO BELIEVE IT!”
Atlanta banned the film under a statute that allowed its censor to prohibit any film that might “adversely affect the peace, morals, and good order of the city”. Memphis did so as well, with the head of the Board of Censors saying: “We don’t take that kind of picture here.” Continue reading
This 1955 card game, “Party Stunts” features stereotypical imagery (bugged-out eyes and oversize lips) of a black person eating a watermelon. For the player who draws that card from the deck, the player must “Go through the motions of a colored boy eating watermelon.” Continue reading
This May 1, 1828 edition of the National Intelligencer includes a runaway slave advertisement stating, “NEGRO LEWIS absconded from the employment of a neighboring farmer sometime in the month of January last, and has not been seen by his employer since. He is about 22 years of age, remarkably stout, and nearly six feet high. Lewis is a fine looking fellow, very cunning, and can look dull, heavy, or sprightly, when he pleases. He will no doubt obtain a forged pass, and make for Pennsylvania. I have been recently informed that his sweetheart is a slave, belonging to Continue reading
This stereo view of a black girl with watermelon continues the odd pairing of black folk with watermelon. It states, “Did you say watermelon was no good? Give me liberty and watermelon! Let the pampered epicure rave over a French ragout, a Chinese bird’s nest soup, or lobster a la Newburg, we piccaninnies believe in the simple life and watermelon. Give us a Continue reading
This 1915 postcard features a young black child holding a watermelon with a grin on his face (continuing the odd pairing of black folk with watermelon). The postcard states “Nigger Heben”. It has a postal stamp from April 14, 1915 in Norfolk, Virginia. Continue reading
These 1965 and 1966 Thunderbolt Newspapers are among the most severe of the racist material in this collection. One article states, “If King comes marching through your town, get out in the streets with the old rebel yell and rebel flag. He’ll go running out of town back to Atlanta.” Thunderbolt newspaper was mentioned during the trial of infamous Ku Klux Klansman Tommy Blanton. Blanton was convicted Continue reading
This 1940’s postcard features “Varieties of Desert Vegetation” including Spanish Bayonet, Joshua Tree, Agave, Palo Verde, and “Nigger Head”. Horticulturist P.A. Munz’s California Flora and California Desert Wildflowers (University of California Press, Berkeley, 1970) lists Niggerhead cactus as the accepted common name for Echinocactus polycephalus, a small barrel cactus native to California’s southern deserts. Continue reading
This December 11, 1821 edition of the General Advertiser features 14 slave advertisements, 13 of them are runaway ads. Photos for all of them are listed below, but one of them involves a runaway child who is 3 feet four inches high. This newspaper was delivered to and owned by John Quincy Adams when he was Secretary of State in the James Monroe administration. His name “John Q Adams, Esq” is written (not by Adams) in the top left hand blank margin of the front page, and served as a sort of 19th century address label.
This 1950’s pamphlet “Freedom, the South, and Nonviolence” was published by Fellowship of Reconciliation. It is a plea for funding to support those boycotting the buses in Montgomery, Alabama. It states, “In the immediate present, it has been demonstrated dramatically by thousands of Negroes in Montgomery, Alabama, as they have trudged the streets of that city, and organized a complicated system of carpools, rather than submit any longer to segregation on the city’s buses. India’s millions, led by Gandhi, and Montgomery’s thousands, led by twenty-six Negro clergymen, have demonstrated how nonviolent resistance operates at its best….Where such campaigns begin, send your own words of encouragement and support to its leaders. Let them know that you understand their goals and their methods, and that you are praying for their success. The knowledge that thousands of other Americans are with them can mean a great deal to men and women surrounded by hostility and Continue reading
In July 1962, Dr. W. G. Anderson attracted national attention with his performance on the television news show Meet the Press, where he successfully defended the movement to hostile white newsmen. Anderson was standing in for King, who was imprisoned at the time for his role in the Albany demonstrations. This letter from Anderson to Meet the Press producer and host Lawrence Spivak (written 45 days after the interview) reveals his thoughts about the historic television event. In it, he says, “This program gave to me the opportunity to tell to the world the plight of the American Negro in a manner that could only be told through searching interrogation.”
W. G. Anderson is famous for being the leader of the Albany Movement, a famous chapter of the Civil Rights Movement, where Dr. King suffered a rare public loss. This loss taught invaluable lessons that would contribute to the overwhelming success of the Birmingham Campaign…. Continue reading
This October 29, 1831 edition of the Niles’ Weekly Register was published in Baltimore, MD and reports on “‘Gen. Nat’ It is believed that this distinguished leader of the blacks at the massacre in Virginia, was drowned, in attempting to cross New river. So says a letter to the governor of the state.” Also… Continue reading
This small handbill (6 1/4″ x 8 1/2″) advertises a mass meeting “In Protest of RACIAL DISCRIMINATION In Certain Montgomery County Schools” just 5 months after Brown v. Board of Education. It says, “Sponsored by the Montgomery County Citizens Action Committee, Rev. Joseph W. Jackson, Chairman. Cooperating Agency North Hills Branch – N.A.A.C.P.
Hear: Rev. Marshall L. Shepard, Raymond Pace Alexander, Gertrude Ely, Dr. Irwin Griggs, Dr. E. Luther Cunningham, Robert N. C. Nix, and others.
St. Charles Auditorium, Walnut and Moore Streets. Norristown, PA. Continue reading
This 1954 racist “Christian” desegregation brochure by John R. Rice is titled “Negro and White”. In it, the author states (regarding the lynching of Emmett Till) “That colored boy, who attempted to…seduce the…white woman, was spurred on by widespread feeling, a cocky attitude agitators have cultivated among colored people. Remember…a white woman dare not walk the streets alone at night or go anywhere alone at night because of the animosity and the standards of the large negro population….It makes for cases of murder and rape. It makes for some…cases in which offended white men, even good men, take the law in their own hands.” Continue reading
This September 6th, 1825 edition of the National Intelligencer (in Washington DC) contains 3 particularly heartbreaking runaway slave ads. The first is a “$100 DOLLARS REWARD” for BEN, and states “He can write a pretty good hand, and no doubt has copied the papers of some free man; and I have reason to believe he stole the Stafford County seal and attached the impression of it to his papers. He carried with him three of his daughters, the property of my neighbor, Moses Kendall, and a Negro Man, the husband of one of Continue reading
This 1956 brochure contains the speech “Mixed Schools and Mixed Blood” by Herbert Ravenel Sass. It states “Herbert Ravel Sass, author, presents the fundamental case for the white South. A native of Charleston, South Carolina, an independent, and an Episocpalian, Mr. Sass is imbued with a tradition which he believes is based on unchanging truth. His argument goes to the very heart of the controversy: Would integrated schools lead to mixed blood?”
The brochure is published by The Educational Fund of the Citizens’ Councils of Greenwood, Mississippi.
This segregationist letter to Arkansas Governor Orville Faubus protests the integration of Central High School in Little Rock with explicit instructions to the Governor. The author states that this is his second letter. “…The U.S.A. Government Army is in control of Little Rick Central High School...Your Arkansas State Attorney General should draw up a rental agreement and lease Little Rock Central High School at One Million Dollars a Month Rent. If the U.S.A. Government defaults on paying this rental, the Arkansas State Attorney General should serve the U.S.A. Government with a thirty day eviction notice…This will teach the U.S.A. Government that Eisenhower Crimes against Arkansas State Government does not pay…Might does not make right, as President Eisenhower declares with his Paratroopers at Little Rock without declaring Martial Law…Go to it Governor Faubus and make these U.S.A. Government un-American Cowards eat their own chosen and executed U.S.A. Constitution Defying and Human Beastiality Mess they have no one to blame for but themselves….one wonders whether his mental capacities are sufficient to discharge the duties of the President of the United States….These Paratroopers with planted bayonets are guilty of criminal intent and actions against Little Rick Civilians who were not even armed. Any Newspaper Editor who praises these Paratroopers Conduct at Little Rock…is an enemy of Our U.S.A. Constitution same as the paratroopers with their bayonets…So will Integration be ruled out when the dumb buck Negro realizes his U.S.A. Supreme Court Integration Order has no force of honest U.S.A. Constitution Law and Order… Continue reading
This February 1st, 1965 edition of the El Paso Herald-Post leads with the bold (all-caps) headline “DR. KING, 270 MARCHERS ARRESTED.” The sub-headline states “Negro Leader Later Freed; Re-Arrested.” This newspaper tells the story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s arrest and re-arrest in Selma, Alabama after leading a large protest march for the right to vote…. Continue reading
This flyer from the 1940’s advertises a “Jitterbug Contest and Swing Session” at the Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, California. The brochure lists the contestants with the “Colored Contestants” listed separately. Continue reading
The Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s was highly controversial in many black churches, where the minister preached spiritual salvation rather than political activism. The National Baptist Convention became deeply split; J.H. Jackson, President of the National Baptist Convention, had supported the Montgomery bus boycott of 1956, but by 1960 he told his denomination they should not become involved in civil rights activism. Jackson’s vocal stance for “civil rights through law and order” went in direct opposition to the methods of civil disobedience advocated by King.
A group led by Gardner C. Taylor including Martin Luther King, Sr and Jr.; Ralph David Continue reading
This 1956 pamphlet titled “Interposition, the Barrier Against Tyranny” is a speech of Representative John Bell Williams (D-Miss.) in the United States House of Representatives on January 25, 1956. Interposition refers to the right of the states to protect their interests from federal violation deemed by those states to be dangerous or unconstitutional. Citizens’ Councils (which were considered a more civilized version of the Ku Klux Klan) famously defended segregation (and before that slavery) by teaching “Interposition and Nullification”.
This brochure was printed by the Association of Citizens’ Councils of Mississippi in Greenwood, Mississippi.
This 1964 “National Rally” flyer advertises Gerald L.K. Smith speaking at the Large Embassy Auditorium at 9th and Grand in Los Angeles, California on April 30th, 1964. On the flyer it states that he will discuss “The significance of Governor Wallace of Alabama, who is rapidly becoming a white man’s champion. Will the Negro become America’s ‘sacred cow’? Will the Jewish politicians and their ilk be able to combine minorities for political victory in such a way as to enslave and abuse the great white Christian majority of America?
This 1950’s anti-NAACP brochure contains four pages of fear-mongering designed to discredit the NAACP by associating the civil rights organization with communism. It refers to “…its devious way to bring America down to stark mulattoism. A negroid-nation is the aim of both–which is but another way of saying Negro-Supremacy.”
This is a 1936 cancelled check from Lee Bank & Trust Company. The check shows “Nigger Head Rock” in the corner. Today, that area in Penington Gap, Virginia is referred to as “Stoneface” (changed in the 1970’s).
1954 “Black Monday” brochure is the printed version of a speech by Judge Tom P. Brady (of the Fourteenth Circuit Court District Brookhaven, Miss) denouncing the 1954 Landmark Brown vs. Board of Education desegregation decision. This brochure was published by the Mississippi Citizens’ Council. Note the quote, “We do know the negro has, in certain instances, elliptical blood cells, which cause disease. We do know that his skull is one-eighth inch thicker…”
This is the front page of the May 13, 1963 issue of the Winnipeg Free Press newspaper featuring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with American “Stars and Bars” artistically creating a jail cell. This was based on his historic incarceration in Birmingham (the month before) where he penned the “Letter from Birmingham Jail”.
Two Fayette County, Alabama Democratic ballots from 1941 and 1956. Note the logo of the chicken and the “WHITE SUPREMACY….FOR THE RIGHT” banner used by the Democratic Party at the time. The official overtly racist logo of the Alabama Democratic Party was adopted in 1904 and not replaced until 1966.
The 1956 ballot shows the notorious Eugene Bull Connor as candidate for “Delegate to National Democratic Convention”. Bull Connor famously used firehoses and police dogs on men, women, and children protesters during the famed Birmingham demonstrations of 1963.
Other than photos of my family, this is perhaps my most meaningful possession. When I learned of the murder of Emmett Till (which many historians cite as the unofficial beginning of the Civil Rights Movement), I was devastated in an unhealthy way. Even to this day, I have never stopped thinking about Emmett and the men who were never brought to justice…even though he was murdered many years before I was born. I poured-out my heart in a letter to his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley expressing the burden I had about her son’s death. In the letter, I committed to telling others about Emmett. Receiving this response from Mrs. Till-Mobley did more for me than words can express. She passed away in 2003.
The January 18, 1965 edition of the New York Times states “The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was punched and kicked by a white man today while he was registering as the first Negro guest of a hotel built more than a century ago by slave labor.” The hotel the article is referring to was the Hotel Albert in Selma, Alabama. James George Robinson, a white states righter, attacked King for trying to register at the hotel, a formerly whites only business in Selma, Alabama. He punched King several times, and before black onlookers intervened, kicked him in the groin. King refused to press charges stating that he had sympathy for Robinson. Two months later, Robinson was arrested for beating a SNCC photographer. Continue reading
These are two signed letters from 1939 regarding a court case involving Oliver V. Hemphill. The first letter is sent to Mr. Clarence M. Head (who, from the letter is apparently white) from Dennis V. Allen, President of the San Diego Race Relations Society. In the letter, Allen thanks Head for being a character witness for the accused. According to the letter, Hemphill is “charged with an unseemly crime of which grave doubts exist as to his guilt.” Allen describes Hemphill as “a member of the colored race,” and says “I therefore, wish to express to you my very deep appreciation for your bold stand for what you consider Justice, regardless of ones race.” Continue reading
Conrad Lynn participated in the first Freedom Ride, and was the first to be arrested among the group. Later, Lynn became involved in the highly publicized North Carolina “Kissing Case”, involving a pair of African-American boys, 7 and 9 years old, who were jailed, prosecuted and convicted of rape, and sentenced to reform school until age 21 after they playfully kissed (or were kissed by) a white girl their age as part of a game. Lynn later represented the Harlem Six. This collection includes Conrad Lynn’s funeral program, a framed print (with his face among other historic figures), his “American’s for Change” card, his health insurance card, and a personal letter to him from a friend. Continue reading
An undeniable sign of the times, this 1970 board game “Blacks & Whites” says (on the bottom cover) “Experience the ghetto. Live on welfare. Try to buy in a white suburb. Your challenge: To keep the land-hungry majority type from winning the game cheaply and quickly.” It also says “…if Black players turn the tide against white advantages–a kind of irrepressible excitement takes over the board.” Continue reading
COMPLETE newspaper, the Dallas Morning News dated Sept 5, 1957. Front page headline and famous photo of Elizabeth Eckford and Hazel Bryan Massery. One of the most infamous photos of the Civil Rights Movement, it came to symbolize the vehement (and sometimes violent) rejection of integrated schooling by whites. Eckford was one of the “Little Rock Nine” who integrated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas after the President sent the 101st Airborne to escort the nine African American children into the school (after the Governor of Arkansas called out the Arkansas National Guard to prevent their entry). Click here to see autograph of Hazel Bryan Massery. Newspaper was Continue reading
These two signs advertised “ONeil Resturant” in Selma, Alabama in the 1990’s. Oneil Hoggle was one of 4 segregationists wrongfully acquitted by an all-white jury of killing Civil Rights supporter Reverend James Reeb. Oneal Hoggle later opened a used car dealership (still open) and the restaurant; I believe the restaurant no longer exists. These signs are made of thick, dark green plastic. Continue reading
This is a large realty investment document dated for April 1928, for the purchase of a house in Bannock County, Pocatello, Idaho. The document shows age discoloration and has been folded in quarters, still in nice shape. There is a notation at the bottom of the document that the buyer of the property agrees to never sell the lot or assign the contract to a Negro, Chinaman, or Japanese. There appear to be 5 signatures, including the Notary Public and the Ex-Officio Recorder. Continue reading
This segregationist leaflet was distributed by “The Defenders” of Richmond, Virginia. It depicts U.S. soldiers “forcing” integration on school children. Approximately 4″x4″ on light card stock. Based on the date of Sep 26, 1957, this leaflet is assuredly based on President Eisenhower ordering the 101st Airborne to excort the “Little Rock Nine” to Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas (an all-white school) after Governor Faubus order the National Guard to keep the black children out of the school. The leaflet credits the “Union Leader” newspaper of Manchester, NH as the original source for the cartoon.
James Earl Ray (March 10, 1928 – April 23, 1998) was an American fugitive and felon convicted of assassinating Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. On June 8, 1968, two months after King’s death, Ray was arrested at London Heathrow Airport attempting to leave the United Kingdom for Brussels on a false Canadian passport. At the airport, officials noticed that Ray carried another passport under a second name. The UK quickly extradited Ray to Tennessee, where he was charged with King’s murder. He confessed to the crime on March 10, 1969, his 41st birthday, and after pleading guilty he was sentenced to 99 years in prison. On June 10, 1977, Ray and six other convicts escaped from Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary in Petros, Tennessee. They were recaptured on June 13. A year was added to Ray’s previous sentence, increasing it to 100 years.
This is a set of 6 railroad passes–5 for “John Williams and wife” (it says he was a “colored brakeman” for the Missouri Pacific) and 1 railroad pass for Isaac M. Feygans (it says “colored laborer”). The word “colored” is next to the names. They are dated 1919, 1923, 1926 (2), 1928, and 1930. 5 passes are for the Missouri Pacific Railroad Company and 1 is for the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad Company Line. Notice on the front of the Feygans pass it does not permit blacks to ride on trains 1 and 2 (white only service) or visit the lounge car on trains 11 and 12 (whites only service) or use ANY sleeping car accomodations (similar racial restrictions on all of the passes). 5 passes (for the Williams family) are encased in a glass frame; it would be easy to open this frame and remove them if necessary. The 6th pass is separate and not framed.
This hard-to-find segregationist pin was worn by Southern Whites to protest an end to segregation (“Never Integrate”). In the 1960’s, violent and racist Sheriff Jim Clark (of Selma, Alabama) was always seen wearing his gun, billy club (to electrically shock nonviolent demonstrators), and this pin. Note the manufacturer name, symbol, and unusual stamp (on the inside) of pin. Continue reading
The heading of this postcard states “Martin Luther King at Communist Training school.” ON BACK: “Lower left, arms folded, is Abner W. Berry of the Central Communist Party. To King’s right, Aubrey Williams, pres. of the communist front SCEF, and Myles Horton, dir. Highlander Folk School for communist training at Monteagle, Tenn. Picture taken by secret counteragent during Red Workshop in race agitation.“
Another disgusting example of an alligator eating, or trying to eat, black children (see other similar items in the collection). The tale of the alligator is a letter opener; by pulling the head of the African-American child out of the alligator’s mouth, a pencil is revealed. The tail advertises the “Los Angeles Alligator Farm”. So much for the South having a monopoly on racism. Continue reading
Made in Germany in the first quarter of the 20th century, it contains a black mask. Instructions on the cover are in German, French, and English. The English directions are as follows: “The Nigger Cap. New. Great surprise. Wonderful effect. It is possible to become a Nigger in half a minute, and then quickly a white man again. The Nigger cap, which is made of light black tricot, is simply drawn over the head, the end pushed under the collar and the Nigger is ready. If in company, one should bend down under the table a moment and draw the cap on, or one goes out of the room and comes back a Nigger, to the great astonishment of everyone present. Great joke. Patented. Enormous success.” Cap is in the package, unused.
Anyone who knows elementary Civil Rights history knows about the police dogs and fire hoses that were used against demonstrators in Birmingham, Alabama. This May 5, 1963 edition of The Montgomery Advertiser shows the fascinatingly DIFFERENT perspective of the mainstream media in Alabama with documenting the event; the demonstrators are depicted as a “mob” and a “taunting crowd” who “challenged police officials to use the water hoses and leashed dogs.” Note Rev. James Bevel (they misspelled his name) in front page photo Continue reading
Many historians say that it was seeing the photos of Emmett Till’s mutilated body in THIS ISSUE (Sept 15, 1955) of Jet Magazine that sparked the Civil Rights Movement. Rosa Parks said that she thought about going to the back of the bus, but when she thought about Emmett Till, she couldn’t do it (her refusal to give her seat to a white man occurred 95 days after Till’s death). The other 5 Jet Magazines in this collection show cover stories relating to Till’s death: “Will Mississippi Whitewash the Emmett Till Slaying?, Emmett Till’s Ghost Haunts Natchez, Where is Third Man in Till Lynching? How the Emmett Till Case Changed 5 Lives, Emmett Till’s Mother Starts a New Life.” Continue reading
This program was handed-out at the silver anniversary Oklahoma Conference of Branches, NAACP on November 17 and 18th 1955. The legendary T.M.R. Howard and Thurgood Marshall were the featured speakers. The theme was “INTEGRATION”.
Howard moved into the national limelight as never before after the murder of Emmett Till in August 1955 and the trial of his killers, J. W. Milam and Roy Bryant in September. He delivered “[o]ne of the earliest and loudest denunciations of Till’s murder,” saying that if “the slaughtering of Negroes is allowed to continue, Mississippi will have a civil war. Negroes are only going to take so much.” He was also heavily involved in the search for evidence and gave over his home to be a “black command center” for witnesses Continue reading
This 1907 book The Negro, A Menace to American Civilization, was written by Robert Wilson Shufeldt who was a Major in the Medical Department of the U.S. Army. From the book:“It takes a negro to assault a pretty and winsome little girl less than four years of age….It is scarcely necessary for me to say, that I am morally opposed to all forms of lynch law, but the negro is with us ; savagery and barbarous acts beget savagery and barbarous acts….Lynchings, in spite of everything, will continue to occur in the United States of America just so long as there is a negro left here alive, and there is a white woman living for him to assault. He can no more help his instincts than he is responsible for the color of his skin.” Note the lynching photos. Continue reading
Just like the weird connection American culture had in associating blacks with watermelon (see watermelon postcards in this collection), they also associated African-Americans as bait for alligators with a common theme of African-Americans running from alligators. Continue reading
I have never seen another Hazel Bryan Massery autograph. Massery was the infamous white teenager captured on the front page of newspapers around the world (click here to see original front page newspaper offered in this collection) on September 04, 1957 when she verbally assaulted Elizabeth Eckford, an African-American, who was trying to enter Central High School (an all-white school) in Little Rock, Arkansas. Continue reading
This is a 1927 advertisement from page 592 of the “Shure” catalogue. It reads “Coon-in-Barrel” is a new, novel and unique device that is a whirl wind crowd gatherer. The barrel is the same size as an ordinary barrel, flat front with a large on the outside. Hit the target and up comes the coon, hit the coon and knock him back in the barrel… Continue reading
The Church and the Negro, A Discussion of Mormons, Negroes and the Priesthood by John Lewis Lund, copyright 1967, third printing 1968. From the dust jacket it says the book “openly and frankly discusses and documents the Mormon position concerning the Negro. “In regard to inter-marriage with the Negro…God does not approve!” Continue reading
This is the May 22, 1961 edition of The Mexia (Texas) Daily News with the headline “700 U.S. MARSHALS SENT TO ALABAMA.” On May 21, 1961, First Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama was a refuge for the passengers on the Freedom ride which met with violence at the Greyhound Bus Station in downtown Montgomery. The church was filled with some 1500 worshipers and activists, including Martin Luther King, Jr., Fred Shuttlesworth, Diane Nash, and James Farmer. The building was besieged by 3000 whites who threatened to burn it Continue reading
This alarmist book by Kenneth Goth concludes that “…the colored races of the whole world are being united under the banner of atheistic hell-inspired Communism“. It also notes that “In schools our young white girls are being forced to dance with Negro boys.” Note the photo of “wild jungle sex orgies that go on each night…between Negroes and Whites”.
Book is published by Soldiers of the Cross and is 76 pages. Continue reading
This is a fascinating book written by Wynetta Willis Martin about her experiences as the first African-American in the famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir. She staunchly supports the LDS church even though, at the time of her autobiographical account, the Mormon Church would not allow African-Americans to become priests. The latter part of the book includes the chapter “Why Can’t the Negro Hold the Priesthood” by John D. Hawkes. The “Forward” (see photo) is written by Odgen Mayor Bart Wolthuis. Five newspaper articles written about Ms. Martin are included in the book (see photos). Continue reading
The book appears to be about the travels of Trooper Peter Halket on his way through South Africa. There are constant references to the “N” word, Continue reading
This is an extremely intriguing letter because of its reference to bombings. The letter from US Attorney General Herbert Brownell, Jr. is addressed to James E. Folsom, Governor of Alabama and is in response to the Governor’s letter to the President of the United States. The Governor was apparently asking for help from the Federal government, specifically, the FBI and Department of Justice. The 50’s and 60’s were a period of racial upheaval, with Montgomery, Alabama being a major focal point of the Civil Rights Movement.
1. Glass sign says “Restrooms, White/Colored (with arrows pointing different directions). This was taken from a lighted sign base. J&B Sign Company. It is frosted glass with black lettering. 4″x12″. Note glue residue on back where it was previously affixed to the lighted sign base (click photo of back for larger image)… Continue reading
This advertisement is not dated, but it is VERY old. It shows racist caricatures of African-Americans stealing and shooting each other. Text at the bottom describes the scene and in one portion says “…(he) was drowned in tears at the thought of not being able to shoot two darkey thieves. But as the well filled with tears he came to the top and discovered one dead nigger…” The ad suggests Barker’s Liniment for the aches and pains of the farmer after the incident. Browned, a few small tears and chips to the edges, printing on rear, fragile. Overall size is approximately 9″ x 6″.
This 1930’s Chicago advertisement for Karsten’s Restaurants depicts a racist “coon” character in uniform. Continue reading
This document dated 1944, says “White Tax Payer’s Returns of Property Taxation.” It shows the market value of land, number of acres, and value of buildings. It also asks if the signor is subject to Poll Tax. Continue reading
This 1966 brochure from the Louisiana Citizens’ Council is titled “Why We Are Expanding” and says “Questions and answers for the white people of South Louisiana who sincerely believe that States’ Rights and racial segregation must be preserved for the peace and good order of our county and for our children’s futures!” Also says “The Citizens’ Council movement is the only nationwide organization dedicated to preserving the integrity of the white race!” The brochure states (inside) that its aim is to “reverse the “Black Monday” decision of 1954 and repeal the mis-named “Civil Rights” Act of 1964.” It also invites the reader to attend a meeting on October 18, 1966 in New Orleans.
This complete April 30, 1956 edition of the Mobile Register has two BOLD examples of political segregation ads. The first ad, for Judge Roy Mayhall running for the Alabama Supreme Court, shows a rooster with the slogan “WHITE SUPREMACY FOR THE RIGHT“. The second ad, for C.W. (Charlie) McKay, Jr. running for Democratic National Committeeman, says “Alabama’s Fighting Champion for Segregation” and “Show Big Jim Folsom, the “Darling of the NAACP,” how you feel about Segregation and mongrelization.” Also, it says “McKay has sponsored Bills to keep Negro students, like Autherine Lucy, out of our white colleges.“… Continue reading
In U.S. practice, a poll tax was used as a de facto or implicit pre-condition of the exercise of the ability to vote. This tax emerged in some states of the United States in the late 19th century as part of the Jim Crow laws. After the ability to vote was extended to all races by the enactment of the Fifteenth Amendment, many Southern states enacted poll tax laws as a means of restricting black voters; such laws often included a grandfather clause, which allowed any adult male whose father or grandfather had voted in a specific year prior to the abolition of slavery to vote without paying the tax. These laws, along with unfairly implemented literacy tests and extra-legal intimidation, achieved the desired effect of disfranchising African-American and Native American voters, as well as poor whites.
This is a tangible part of what so many fought, bled, and died for…to change THESE humiliating ordinances. This is an original HEAVY hardcover book “THE CODE OF THE CITY OF BIRMINGHAM”. Includes ordinances such as “Negroes Not To Game With Whites,” “Negroes Separated From Whites In Restaurants,” “Negroes Separated From Whites on Street Cars,” and “White Children Not To Be Carried To Negro Homes.” Code shows monetary penalties, imprisonment, and hard labor for violating these ordinances.
This complete March 22, 1965 edition of The El Paso Times features the bold headline “King Leads Massive March” about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama… Continue reading
This article from the November 1907 issue of “The Metropolitan Magazine” is written by a Senator from Mississippi, John Sharp Williams. The article is 15 pages (about 8″ x 10″ in size) and has several full page photos. In the article titled “The Negro and the South” Williams writes “The darky complains a good deal…They are here, and they are going to remain here so long as there is a cotton-field in sight…Some people talk as if the repeal of the fifteenth amendment would get rid of darkies…Negro women are poor mothers–careless and unintelligent.”
This May 2nd, 2001 mint condition copy of The Birmingham News has the cover story “BLANTON GUILTY” which details the conviction of Ku Klux Klansman Thomas E. Blanton who bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, killing 4 little girls, on September of 1963. Subtitle says, “Prosecutor: ‘Justice Delayed Is Still Justice'”.
I obtained this newspaper after flying to Birmingham, Alabama to witness this historic trial. While only there a few days, I was blessed to be there for the rendering of the verdict of “Guilty”; an unforgettable moment. Continue reading
“Darkie Toothpaste” shows one of the more obvious caricatures of the grinning, wide-eyed African-American. Toothpaste bottle and box are from Japan.
Darkie is a toothpaste brand of Hawley & Hazel Chemical Company. Established in Shanghai in 1933 and later based in Hong Kong and Taiwan, Hawley & Hazel was acquired in 1985 by the US corporation Colgate-Palmolive, although the product is not marketed by Colgate-Palmolive Continue reading
Governor Orval E. Faubus was the Governor who called out the National Guard to block nine African-American children from entering Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Typed Letter Signed as Governor, on colored State of Arkansas Letterhead, January 10, 1958. Faubus makes reference to the challenge of integration in the letter by stating (after referencing “Pledge to the South”) “I am most grateful for your thoughtfulness and understanding of our situation.” Boldly signed in black ink.
This large and thick booklet from the Ball Clinic in Excelsior Springs, MO shows that the clinic does “not have facilities for treating colored people“. Based on the woodie (car) in one of the photos, the booklet appears to have been published in the 1950’s. Continue reading
This metal token from the 1940’s says “Finder will receive deed to one seashore building lot high and dry title guaranteed $37.50. No other expense. Finder, return this coin within 96 hours to Cedar Lakes Inc. 729 7th Ave at 49th Street NYC. WHITE RACE ONLY“. This was issued in the 1940’s as land promotion.
This May 28, 1961 headline from The Mexia (Texas) Daily News says “RIDERS REMAIN IN JAIL RATHER THAN PAY FINES.” Right under the headline is an article with the title “Kennedy says Negro Could Be President Within 30-40 Years.” The Freedom Riders challenged the status quo by riding interstate buses in the South in mixed racial groups to challenge local laws or customs that enforced segregation in seating. The Freedom Rides, and the violent reactions they provoked, bolstered Continue reading
–The original poster advertising the event
–An “I Was There” pennant
–3 “Final Call” newspapers advertising the MMM, 1 “Final Call” chronicling the event after it concluded, and 3 newspapers reporting the MMM the next day (New York Times, Rocky Mtn News, and USA Today).
–The official book that was released (see the table of contents which shows sections including “Spiritual and Historical Significance”, “Home Training Units”, and “interviews and Comments”).
In an attempt to create as much chaos as possible, segregationists disseminated these cards to students at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas during the 1957-1958 school year. The poem refers to Daisy Bates, who was a mentor, advisor, and escort for the nine African-American students integrating Central High School. The poem also refers to Lamb, Tucker, and Matson who were school board members at the time.
A former classmate of Ernest Green (one of the Little Rock 9) acquired this card from the Couch Estate in Little Rock, Arkansas. He confirms that these cards were handed out throughout the school year to keep tension high. Continue reading
Possibly the most representative example of Klan propaganda, this may be the worst and most disgusting of the publications by the Klan/Citizens’ Councils. Exploiting the murder of Viola Liuzzo, (a true hero of the Civil Rights Movement) by putting her body on the cover of their Klan “Night Riders” magazine as a trophy of their murderous efforts is about as low as it gets.
The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was held in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, August 28, 1963. The purpose of the march was to advocate for the civil and economic rights of African Americans. At the march, Martin Luther King Jr., standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial, delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech in which he called for an end to racism.
The march was organized by A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin, who built an alliance of civil rights, labor, and religious organizations that came together under the banner of “jobs and freedom.” Estimates of the number of participants varied from 200,000 to 300,000, but the most widely cited estimate is 250,000 people. Observers estimated that 75–80% of the marchers were black. The march was one of the largest political rallies for human rights in United States history.
The march is credited with helping to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and preceded the Selma Voting Rights Movement which led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
[Information from Wikipedia]
A rare gem, “A First Step Toward School Integration” is a pamphlet from the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE). Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. states at the beginning of the Foreward, “Can the method of non-violence that erased the color line in Montgomery’s buses be applied effectively to schools? This pamphlet seeks an answer to that question, so urgent in southern communities where the Supreme Court decision of 1954 is not yet accepted.”
Three separate newspapers covering the story of the Landmark 1954 Brown versus Board of Education Decision in the May 17, 1954 Atlanta Journal, the Chattanooga News-Free Press, and the May 18th, 1954 Chattanooga Daily Times. Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954), was a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students to be unconstitutional. Continue reading
One of the fine jewels of this black history collection is this original LIFE Magazine (in great condition) showing the cover story of the Central High Crisis with signatures from eight of the Little Rock Nine (Carlotta Ray Karlmark refused to sign and has moved to Sweden).
The Little Rock Nine were a group of African American students enrolled in previously all-white Little Rock Central High School in 1957. Their enrollment was followed by the Little Rock Crisis, in which the students were initially prevented from entering the racially segregated school by Orval Faubus, the Governor of Arkansas. They then attended after the intervention of President Dwight D. Eisenhower
This 1960’s Monson Motor Lodge brochure advertises the hotel where Martin Luther King was arrested and also where the hotel manager famously poured acid in the pool where an interracial group was protesting the segregation Continue reading
This racist brochure from the 1960’s shows a Confederate flag on the cover and contains a list of 19 inflammatory race-based events that are intended as a “call to action” for the white man with an invitation May 1st to attend a meeting. It mentions that “War has been declared upon an entire generation of little white children who are fighting for their lives, their right to decency, and their heritage of Christian civilization. Little white girls are bearing the brunt of this savage assault. Their existence or destruction depends upon the manhood of their race. That is you.” Continue reading
Violence and threats of violence against people of color threatened to keep them from voting. This booklet was created in an effort to reduce fear and discouragement among African-Americans contemplating the vote. Notice the photo caption that says “Most persons register without major difficulty.” Nicely illustrated booklet, 22 pages, The Right To Vote by James McCain, Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), 1962. A phenomenal artifact demonstrating one of the strategies incorporated to persuade African-Americans to vote. Fine Condition.
This anti-Martin Luther King, Jr. pamphlet is authored by Dr. Billy James Harris and is published by the Christian Crusade. Its opening sentence says, “Recent statements by race agitator Martin Luther King, Jr., clearly indicate that it is time to rip off his pious mask and reveal the real purpose and drive behind his anti-American activities.
This 1966 anti-Civil Rights newsletter is titled “RACIAL VIOLENCE AND HATRED” and is ironically from “Americans for Civil Harmony.” In it, it attributes the fight for equality and civil rights to a communist plot. It links Dr. King with illegal liquor sales and “promiscuous lewdness”; it identifies several of his aides as “sex perverts” and “identified communists“. It relies heavily on “perceptive critic”: J. Edgar Hoover. This newsletter was part of the FBI propaganda campaign to discredit the Civil Rights Movement. Like new condition.
This bumper sticker is protesting James Meredith’s enrollment at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss). The backing is still on the sticker. It is in good condition. In 1962, James Meredith was the first African-American student admitted to the segregated University of Mississippi, an event that was a flash point in the African-American civil rights movement. Continue reading
This October 21, 1962 edition of The Montgomery Advertiser has a headline of “Plea For State Militia By Wallace Expected” and includes the article “King Plans New Drive In Alabama“. This article mentions the success of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and says that Martin Luther King “plans to recruit a nonviolent army to fight segregation in Alabama where his passive resistance move started 7 years ago“. The article titled “U of A Integration Aim Spurs Move, Sources Hint” says “Incoming Governor George C. Wallace is expected to take steps to create a state militia in the wake of an announced integration attempt at the University of Alabama.”
This is the September 2, 1965 edition of the “Birmingham Independent”, a racist newsletter. The cover story is about J. Edgar Hoover. Articles include this astounding passage “Birmingham was a fine, cheerful city. The Negroes were happy. King and his cohorts moved in, and with some local agitators began stirring up bad feelings and convincing the Negroes that they were not happy at all….He actually preferred that (demands) were not met because this was a cheaper way to promote propaganda to feed his innocent victims on hatred. What followed…were riots, racial disturbances, and the death of four Negro children” Continue reading
This is a February 20, 1966 edition of “The Councilor“, an anti-integration newsletter published in Shreveport, Louisiana. Articles include “‘Stab-Ins’ Planned As New Civil Rights Terror Campaign“, “Post Office Hiring Now Discriminates Against Whites”, and “Louisiana Race-Mixers Are Under Severe Fire From Aroused Public”. Name of addressee and PO Box address is clearly printed on newsletter.
This “Special Wallace Tabloid” is published by the Montgomery Advertiser and Alabama Journal and is titled “THE DRAMATIC FIRST YEAR” celebrating segregationist Governor George Wallace’s first year as Governor of Alabama. The tabloid is filled with history and numerous congratulations from businesses throughout Alabama (see photo).
Published in 1964, this is a large 95-page booklet covering the Civil Rights Movement from 1957-1964. Full of photos, this book covers the Civil Rights Movement from Little Rock (1957) to the Protest at the World’s Fair (1964). Photo shows that the booklet has water damage. Continue reading
The best and most valuable part is a chart showing a CHRONOLOGICAL LISTING OF SOUTHERN BOMBINGS from January 1, 1956 to June 1st 1963 (59 of them). See the photo of the listing of bombings; amazing detail (many names of who was bombed or whether they were white integrationists, pastors, etc.).
This May 31, 1963 edition of The Montgomery Advertiser has a cover story that says “Leader Says Klan Won’t Attend Mix“. This story quotes Imperial Wizard of the United Klans of America Robert M. Shelton, who says that the KKK will not attend the integration of the all-white University of Alabama by Vivian J. Malone (African-American) and states “The Klan Continue reading
This May 2, 1966 edition of The Birmingham News has cover story of “U.S. Observers Sent to Black Belt“ with the larger title on the page reading “Alabama in Spotlight As Six States to Vote.” Other cover stories: “Millions will go to polls“, “Impact of ’65 Voting Rights Act to be felt“, “All in line can vote if identified”. Click “Continue Reading” for full-page insert advertising Wallace for Governor. Continue reading
One of the most interesting confidants in Martin Luther King’s inner circle was Bayard Rustin. When J. Edgar Hoover began a smear campaign to discredit Rustin based on his homosexuality (and therefore attempt to discredit the Civil Rights Movement), Dr. King distanced himself from him. To avoid attacks based on his sexual orientation, Rustin served rarely as a public spokesperson; he usually acted as an influential adviser to civil-rights leaders. Bayard Rustin was a leading activist of the early 1947–1955 Civil-Rights Movement. He organized the first of the Freedom Rides (1947) to challenge racial segregation on interstate busing Continue reading
Interestingly, this May 29, 1963 edition of The Birmingham Post-Herald erroneously shows a date of MAY 29, 1863 (100 YEARS EARLIER) and includes an article titled “Fort Sumter, 1963, Seems Near At Hand“. It talks about Governor Faubus (Arkansas) yielding to the Federal Government over integration, Governor Ross (Mississippi) yielding, and wonders if Governor Wallace (Alabama) will stand his ground and not allow James Meredith (an African-American) to enter the all-white University of Alabama. It The newspaper also has an article titled “Harlem Negroes Impatient, Angry, Tired of Platitudes“,
This 4 page political booklet is titled “More Civil Rights Double-Talk and More Goose Eggs”. It was distributed by the Republican Congressional Committee in 1952 on behalf of Senator H. Alexander Smith. The 4 page booklet is white (though discolored by age) with red and black print. It includes political cartoons and photos of Eisenhower, Nixon, and Smith. The content of the booklet details “Republican proposals for Civil Rights issues” and highlights the Democratic party’s push for “White Supremacy”. The booklet is not torn and other than slightly aged, is in mint condition. Continue reading
The A. G. Gaston Motel is a former motel located at 1510 5th Avenue North, now part of Birmingham’s “Civil Rights District”. It was constructed in 1954 by businessman A. G. Gaston to provide higher-class service to black visitors during the city’s decades of strictly-segregated business and recreation. It would become Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s headquarters for Birmingham’s “Project C” leading to the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Continue reading
This matchbook cover is for the infamous Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee where on April 4th, 1968 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated while standing on its balcony in front of room 306…. Continue reading
This May 28, 1963 edition of The Birmingham Post-Herald shows a cover story of “Wallace’s Complaint Rejected“. Other stories include “Negro Maid Given Papers By Marshals“, “Schoolhouse Door Plan of Wallace Is Outlined” (this describes in detail how the Governor intends to defy the U.S. Marshals who will attempt to enroll the first African-American), “Desegregation Proposals Coming” which states “unless all signs fail, another filibuster by Conservative Southern Democrats is likely to greet any new civil rights measures in the Senate.” Other articles include “RFK Urges Theater Men To End (Negro) Ban” and “Troop Action By President Ruled Valid“. Continue reading
This is the famous and historic headline from the October 2, 1962 edition of The New York Times reporting THE END OF SEGREGATION IN MISSISSIPPI when James Meredith integrated the all-white University of Alabama. White segregationists from around the state joined students and locals in a violent, 15-hour riot on the campus on September 30, in which two people were killed execution style, hundreds were wounded, and six federal marshals were shot. The headline reads “3,000 TROOPS PUT DOWN MISSISSIPPI RIOTS AND ARREST 112 AS NEGRO BEGINS CLASSES”. A photo of The New York Times coverage of this event is included in Taylor Branch’s Pulitzer Prize winning masterpiece Parting the Waters. Other articles include “Soldiers Beaten; Homes Damaged”, “Campus a Bivouac As Negro Enters”, and “Mobs Armed With Bottles and Bricks Terrorized Oxford From Dawn Until Noon” Continue reading
The A. G. Gaston Motel is a former motel located at 1510 5th Avenue North, now part of Birmingham’s “Civil Rights District”. It was constructed in 1954 by businessman A. G. Gaston to provide higher-class service to black visitors during the city’s decades of strictly-segregated business and recreation. It would become Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s headquarters for Birmingham’s “Project C” leading to the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Continue reading
This infamous photo, plastered over the cover of the July 13, 1963 edition of “The Birmingham News” shows a large photo on the cover allegedly showing Dr. King in a communist training school and says “These four horsemen of racial agitation have brought tension, disturbance, strife and Continue reading
This May 14, 1963 edition of The Montgomery Advertiser has the cover story “Wallace Hints Court Order To Oust Troops” with subtitle “Governor Insists Military Units In Alabama Illegally“. A unique article “King Preaches His Doctrine In Pool Halls, On Sidewalks“, describes the effort of the SCLC to protect the Civil Rights Movement from violence by preaching nonviolence even in the most unlikely places (and even collecting knives while doing so! Continue reading
This May 10th, 1963 edition of The Montgomery Advertiser shows the headline “King Says Agreement Reached On Demands“. Subtitle says “Birmingham Truce Still In Effect“. Another interesting cover story says “Wires Praise, Attack Wallace On Racial Issue At Birmingham” and quotes from disapproving Connecticut Governor John Dempsey (whom Wallace tells to “mind his own business” and quotes from supportive Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett. Inside the paper is a very interesting article is titled “Pep Rallies Heartbeat of Birmingham’s Negro Movement“. This last article is a surprisingly neutral observation from a reporter inside a local church rally who notes that “It’s there that they receive the spiritual push necessary to face police, firemen and jail.” Continue reading
The Birmingham News (Alabama) from June 13, 1967 has cover story “NEGRO NOMINATED FOR COURT” about Thurgood Marshall’s historic nomination to the Supreme Court with the subtitle “Ex-NAACP aid first of his race to be named.” Also includes article “Tampa Negroes loot, burn slums”, and “Carmichael likely to go free on bond” about Stokely Carmichael.
Vernon Johns (April 22, 1892 – June 11, 1965) is considered by some as the father of the American Civil Rights Movement, having laid the foundation on which Martin Luther King, Jr. and others would build. Johns was a courageous and vocal opponent of segregation. In 1926, he was the first African-American to have his work published in Best Sermons of the Year; this was a personal triumph for Johns as he had repeatedly submitted sermons for consideration in previous years Continue reading
This racist sheet music from 1925 is titled “Two Naughty Little Pickanin’s”. The subtitle reads “A Duet for Little Darkey Boy and Girl.” The third verse starts with “We’se mischievous little nigs, An’ we eat lak little pigs, Dat’s what makes us so mischievous.” Later, it says, “It am nuffin’ but de mischief oozin’ out.”
Words by Willis N. Bugbee and music by Chas. W.A. Ball.
A 70’s gem, Black Is Beautiful was published in 1972. Using simile to compare beautiful black objects (natural and otherwise) to black skin, this small book does a fantastic job of countering the devaluation of non-white skin.
This April 30, 1950 edition of The Mobile Press Register is complete and inside features a VERY large (14″ x 5″) political ad for Eugene ‘Bull’ Connor as a candidate for Governor of the state of Alabama. This ad says that he is “Alabama’s States’ Rights Democrat.” As Safety Commissioner, Bull Connor became a symbol of the segregated south after journalists captured the violent aftermath of his instruction to the Birmingham Fire Department to put their water hoses on demonstrators and ordered the Birmingham Police Department to attack demonstrators with police dogs…. Continue reading
Bull Connor was an international symbol of institutional racism. Bull Connor directed the use of fire hoses and police attack dogs against civil rights activists; child protestors were also subject to these attacks. Continue reading
Diane Nash was part of the first successful lunch counter sit-in, she was a freedom rider, she co-founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and was involved in the Selma voting rights movement. Ms. Nash was jailed many times for the cause of civil rights and spent time in jail while she was pregnant with her first child; her crime was teaching nonviolent tactics to children. Few civil rights leaders were as militant as Diane Nash. When violence stopped the first Freedom Ride in Alabama, Diane Nash was insistent that the rides continue. “The students have decided that we can’t let violence overcome,” she told civil rights legend Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, “We are coming into Birmingham to continue the Freedom Ride.” She later led all the rides from Birmingham to Jackson in 1961.
This Tuskegee Airmen book Lonely Eagles is signed by 6 Tuskegee Airmen, with at least 2 of them identifying themselves as being part of the famed 99th Fighter Squadron. The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African-American military aviators in the United States armed forces. During World War II, Black Americans in many U.S. states were still subject to the Jim Crow laws and the American military was racially segregated Continue reading
This is an outstanding biography of the greatest hero (in my opinion) of the American Civil Rights Movement: Rev. FRED SHUTTLESWORTH. It is also signed by the author, Doug Ervin. Book and dustjacket are in mint condition. Read the back cover (see photo) to see why this man matters. Our country lost an amazing General of the Civil Rights Movement when Shuttlesworth graduated to heaven in 2011.
Shuttlesworth was whipped with a chain for trying to enroll his children in a white school. He advertised that he was going to do it and knew he was going to suffer for it (his wife was also stabbed during the effort). His home was bombed with 16 sticks of dynamite by the KKK and he miraculously survived. Shuttlesworth invited Martin Luther King to Birmingham resulting in the climax of the Birmingham Civil Rights Movement. As a result, the 1964 Civil Rights Act can be attributed initially to HIS efforts.
It was after Martin Luther King’s mother was murdered (while playing the organ at her church) that this print titled “Together Again” was presumably created featuring both Martin Luther King, Jr. and his mother. Alberta King was shot and killed on June 30, 1974, at age 69, by Marcus Wayne Chenault, a 23-year-old black man from Ohio who had adopted an extremist version of the theology of the Black Hebrew Israelites. Chenault’s mentor, Rev. Hananiah E. Israel of Cincinnati, castigated black civil rights activists and black church leaders as being evil and deceptive, but claimed in interviews not to have advocated violence. Chenault did not draw any such distinction, and actually first decided to assassinate Rev. Jesse Jackson in Chicago, but canceled the plan at the last minute. Two weeks later he set out for Atlanta, where he shot Alberta King with two handguns as she sat at the organ of the Ebenezer Baptist Church. Continue reading
This booklet titled “MARTIN LUTHER KING AND THE MONTGOMERY STORY” was published by the Fellowship of Reconciliation and sold for ten cents. The subtitle says, “How 50,000 Negroes found a new way to end racial discrimination.”
Martin Luther King’s relationship with the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) began during the Montgomery bus boycott, when FOR veteran Bayard Rustin Continue reading