Letter from Emmett Till’s Mother

mamie-till-mobleyOther than photos of my wife and children, this is perhaps my most meaningful possession. This letter from Emmett Till’s mother (Mamie Till Mobley), was a significant factor in the healing of my heart. 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. Truthfully, 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.

1970 “BLACKS & WHITES” BOARD GAME

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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

1964 GEORGE WALLACE SIGNED LETTER RE CIVIL RIGHTS BILL

DSC06594This 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…

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“LITTLE ROCK NINE” INFAMOUS FRONT PAGE: ELIZABETH ECKFORD & HAZEL BRYAN MASSERY

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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

1900 “THE NEGRO A BEAST OR IN THE IMAGE OF GOD?”

DSC08963This 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).

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1928 HOUSING CONTRACT “NEVER TO SELL…TO NEGRO…”

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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

1957 SEGREGATIONIST LEAFLET

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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.


1901 “IS THE NEGRO A BEAST?” (rebuttal to “The Negro A Beast”)

 DSC08945Is 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).

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6 Railroad Passes for “Colored Laborer/Brakeman”

DSC08634This 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.

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“NEVER” SEGREGATIONIST PIN

DSC00635Alabama Sheriff Jim Clark at MicrophoneThis 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

1965 ANTI-MARTIN LUTHER KING POSTCARD

DSC08620The 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.

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ALLIGATOR EATING BLACK BOY (PENCIL AND LETTER OPENER)

DSC06681 DSC06684Another 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

NIGGER CAP (NEGER KAPPE)

DSC06425Made 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.

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1963 “MOBS…DEFY DOGS, FIRE HOSES” (Birmingham, AL)

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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

1955-1960 Emmett Till Collection

Jet-Magazine-15sep55Many 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.  In fact, Rosa Parks’ refusing 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

1907 THE NEGRO, A MENACE TO AMERICAN CIVILIZATION

DSC08951 DSC08955This 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

RARE HAZEL BRYAN MASSERY AUTOGRAPH

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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

1927 “Coon In Barrel” Game

IMG_5871This 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 barrelContinue reading

1968 MORMON BOOK PROHIBITS BLACK PRIESTS & “LOSE…BLESSINGS BY MARRYING A NEGRO”

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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

SIEGE OF 1ST BAPTIST CHURCH (3000 whites try to burn MLK in church)

DSC08595  DSC08596This 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

1958 REDS PROMOTE RACIAL WAR

DSC00700This 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

1972 “BLACK MORMON TELLS HER STORY”

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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

1957 US ATTORNEY GEN’L SIGNED LETTER (ABOUT BOMBINGS) & ENVELOPE

DSC08838This 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.

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1958 NEGRO TRAVELER’S “GREEN BOOK”

DSC06376 DSC06379 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

“ONE DEAD NIGGER” RACIST AD

DSC00679This 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″.

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1966 CITIZENS’ COUNCIL BROCHURE (LOUISIANA)

DSC00647This 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.

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3 Poll Tax Receipts 1923, 1928, and 1958

DSC08877In 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.

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1917 SEGREGATION LAWS: BIRMINGHAM, AL CITY CODE BOOK

DSC08675This 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.

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1907 “NEGRO WOMEN ARE POOR MOTHERS –CARELESS & UNINTELLIGENT”

DSC00692This 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 darkiesNegro women are poor mothers–careless and unintelligent.”

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MURDERER OF 4 BIRMINGHAM GIRLS FOUND GUILTY (38 yrs later)

DSC08994This 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 (JAPAN)

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“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

1958 ARK. SEGREGATIONIST GOVERNOR ORVAL FAUBUS TLS (SIGNED)

DSC08850Governor 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.

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1940’s “WHITE RACE ONLY” TOKEN

DSC06432This 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.

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1961 FREEDOM RIDERS HEADLINE

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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

1995 “MILLION MAN MARCH” COLLECTION

DSC08578This is a collection of 10 items relating to the Million Man March on October 16, 1995.  This mint condition collection includes the following:DSC08934

–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”).

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KKK Magazine “Night Riders” about Viola Liuzzo murder

DSC06602Possibly 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.

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1958 RARE INTEGRATION PAMPHLET (CORE)

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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.

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8 SIGNATURES FROM THE LITTLE ROCK NINE

DSC08970One 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

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1960’s RACIST BROCHURE

DSC08861 DSC08863 DSC08862This 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