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…“
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 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
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
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 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.
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
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.“
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. 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
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Cover story of the Landmark 1954 Brown versus Board of Education Decision in the May 17, 1954 Atlanta Journal. 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
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 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
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.).
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
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
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
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 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
This 1st Edition autobiography is SIGNED by arguably the most famous of the Tuskegee Airmen, Chuck “A-Train” Dryden. “A-Train” was also depicted in the critically acclaimed HBO movie “Tuskegee Airmen”. Dryden passed away in 2008. Continue reading
This 1971 book was “printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary” and is a compilation of hearings before the Civil Rights Oversight Subcommittee on the Enforcement of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. It is a rare “time capsule” of everything that was said before the House of Representatives during this turbulent time.
This is a rare 1st Edition SIGNED copy of Daisy Bates’ autobiography The Long Shadow of Little Rock. Just 5 years after the Little Rock Crisis, she writes “Especially for a freedom fighter. May God keep you. Daisy Bates Nov. 6, 1926 (she obviously meant 1962). Ms. Bates passed away in 1999. After the nine black students were selected to attend all-white Central High, Mrs. Daisy Bates would be with Continue reading
This 1956 Advertisement is a double-sided card intended for distribution within the black community. On one side it lists all of Eisenhower’s desegregation accomplishments that have benefitted African-Americans; the other side claims that Stevenson is a “fence-sitter”.
It shows that under Eisenhower…
“No more segregation in Washington D.C.–Hotels, Restaurants, and Schools, over 300 jobs for Negroes paying $6,000-$17,500 per year, no more segregation in Veterans Hospitals, no more separate water fountains or rest rooms in Navy shipyards, no more segregation in the Armed Forces.”
This huge lot of 111 Jet Magazines is a fascinating time capsule taking you into all of the issues of the Black community before and during the Civil Rights Movement. Note some of the cover stories: “BOYCOTT EXCLUSIVE: What’s Happening In Montgomery?, Will Bombs Keep Integration Out of Alabama?, Tenn. Negroes Who Must Vote In Tents Because They Voted, Will the Bates Be Forced To Quit Little Rock?, Parents: Unsung Heroes In School Integration Crisis, The Woman Who Tried To Kill King, The Girl Who Upset Alabama (Arthurine Lucy), Ambush Shooting of Meredith, Muhammad Ali’s Draft Dispute Continue reading
This is an almost perfect 1st edition boldly SIGNED copy of Ralph Abernathy’s autobiography. Ralph David Abernathy, Sr. (March 11, 1926 – April 17, 1990) was a leader of the American Civil Rights Movement, a minister, and the best friend of Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Abernathy was also the organizer of the first mass meeting of the Montgomery Bus Boycott to protest Rosa Parks’ arrest on December 1, 1955. Abernathy and his friend Martin Luther King, Jr. organized the boycott and gave birth to the American Civil Rights Movement. Following King’s assassination, Dr. Abernathy took up the leadership of the SCLC Poor People’s Campaign and led the March on Washington, D.C., that had been planned for May 1968.
This is a SIGNED copy of Amelia Boynton Robinson’s autobiography Bridge Over Troubled Water. Ms. Boynton Robinson personally invited Dr. King to Selma, Alabama and is considered the mother of the Voting Rights Movement. She was famously beaten unconscious (photo went around the world) on the Edmund Pettus Bridge while marching for the right to vote. Continue reading
This is a 1st edition copy (with dust jacket) of Rosa Park’s autobiography My Story. Book is in mint condition; dust jacket is in great condition, with almost non-existent wear at top. Continue reading
Four original Tuskegee Airmen have autographed this oversized poster (see wristwatch for size) for the movie “The Tuskegee Airmen.” Among the bold signatures on this poster is that of Robert Williams. Williams wrote the story for the movie, but more importantly, he was a distinguished and decorated pilot with the famed Tuskegee Airmen. Most of these flying heroes have now passed away. I aquired this poster and had it signed at the world premiere of the movie where several original Tuskegee Airmen were in attendance and agreed to sign. Continue reading
This is the infamous photo of Amelia Boynton Robinson being gassed and beaten while marching for the right to vote. She was eventually left for dead after being beaten with a billy club for her participation in a peaceful march (across the Edmund Pettus Bridge) for the right to vote. Evidence that this photo went around the world is the fact this is an original press photo from a Latin American country (everything is in Spanish).
Two pinbacks featuring black and white hands shaking with “SNCC” (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) inscribed below them. One button is 1″ with black border, the other is 7/8″ with no border. Both in perfect condition. Continue reading
This Freedom School Poetry book from 1966 is quite a jewel from SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee). Please read the posted photo (dedicated to Emmett Till); it concludes regarding these poems and paintings that “These are the expressions of the young freedom school students of Mississippi.”
This magazine, published in 1968 (immediately after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.) is called “Martin Luther King, Jr. His Dream Marches On.” The magazine, by teaching Dr. King’s philosophy, sought to prevent further rioting that exploded immediately after his death. The publisher Continue reading
I am fairly confident you will never see this again–the late Daisy Bates has signed an almost-perfect copy of the Little Rock Nine edition of Life Magazine.
After the nine black students were selected to attend Central High Mrs. Daisy Bates would be with them every step of the way. Bates guided and advised the nine students, known as the Little Rock Nine, when they attempted to enroll in 1957 at Little Rock Central High School, a previously all-white institution. The students’ attempts to enroll provoked a confrontation with Governor Orval Faubus, who called out the National Guard to prevent their entry. White mobs met at the school and threatened to kill the black students; these mobs harassed not only activists but also northern journalists who came to cover the story. Continue reading
This is a collection of two signatures from Civil Rights legend James Meredith. One signature is on the cover of a program where he spoke in the 90’s; the other signature is on the cover of a booklet he sold based on his autobiography. In 1962, James Meredith was the first African-American student admitted to the segregated University of Mississippi, an event that was a flashpoint in the African American civil rights movement. Inspired by President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address, Meredith decided to exercise his constitutional rights and apply to the University of Mississippi. His goal was to put pressure on the Kennedy administration to enforce civil rights for African Americans. Continue reading
John Lewis (pictured at the front of the line on this cover) has boldly signed this March 19, 1965 LIFE Magazine that features the Selma, Alabama cover story of “Bloody Sunday”…when peaceful demonstrators were beaten on the Edmund Pettus Bridge by State Troopers.
The 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches, also known as “Bloody Sunday” and the two marches that followed, led to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, a landmark achievement of the 1960s American Civil Rights Movement. Continue reading
This January 1955 edition of “The National Police Gazette” has a photo of Rocky Marciano with the cover story “What’s Ahead for the Negro Under Desegregation”. This was 8 months after the “Great Decision”–1954’s Brown Vs. Board of Education establishing separate public schools for black and white students to be unconstitutional.
James Leonard Farmer, Jr. (January 12, 1920 – July 9, 1999) was a civil rights activist and leader in the American Civil Rights Movement. He was the initiator and organizer of the 1961 Freedom Ride, which eventually led to the desegregation of inter-state transportation in the United States. Continue reading
These 4 Crisis Magazines are published by the NAACP and are from 1955, 1966 (2), and 1968. These magazines are filled with articles and photos on the Civil Rights Movement and outstanding achievements of African-Americans. Note the article (see photo) entitled “Again the Name Negro” and the photo of the burned-down house of NAACP leader Vernon Dahmer (see photo).
This is a signature from NAACP’s Roy Wilkins (signed one year before he died) on an “Official First Day of Issue” Cover honoring Harriet Tubman. It is postmarked February 1, 1978 and also includes a 13 cent Harriet Tubman stamp. Wilkins has signed with a blue pen. In 1955, Roy Wilkins was chosen to be the executive secretary of the NAACP and in 1964 he became its executive director. He had an excellent reputation as an articulate spokesperson for the civil rights movement. One of his first actions was to provide support to civil rights activists in Mississippi who were being subject to a “credit squeeze” by members of the White Citizens Councils. Continue reading