Particular attention was given to the 1960s because it represented a culmination of earlier activities, including the 1954 Supreme Court decision, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, school desegregation in Little Rock, the Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1960, the sit-ins initiated by students at North Carolina A. & T. College and the organization of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee at a Southern Christian Leadership Conference-sponsored meeting at Shaw University. The 1960s were a period of foment and rebellion and, in addition to a horrible war which polarized America and took much of the focus from rights activities, also witnessed freedom rides; church bombings; an executive order banning discrimination in federal or federally-supported housing; the admission of James Meredith to the University of Mississippi; the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom; violence in Birmingham; the murder of Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King, a president and a presidential candidate; the admission of Blacks to the University of Alabama; the Civil Rights Act of 1964; the rise and fall of Malcolm X; murders of civil rights workers and clandestine operations by the FBI; the Voting Rights Act; the Harlem, Watts and other urban riots; the Selma to Montgomery and Memphis to Jackson marches; a White House Conference on Civil Rights; campus disorders; and the rise of Black Power and cultural nationalist movements. The 1960’s were, indeed, powerful years.

     In addition to documenting these myriad developments, the Civil Rights Documentation Project sought to address these issues, among others:

  1. the relationship of campus student revolution to student civil rights activities of the early 1960s;

  2. the effects of changing leadership in the direction of the Civil Rights Movement;

  3. the relationship of SNCC influence on the rise of the Black Panther Party, cultural nationalism, separatism, Black Power and the move away from nonviolence and cooperation with liberal whites;
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November 1999