and annotated by Judy Richardson, Northern Lights Productions; Former
SNCC member, along with SALEM in History staff.
Parting the Waters. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1988.
First of a projected
three-volume narrative history of the Civil Rights Movement. Covers
the years between World War II and the early 1960s. Profiles King’s
rise to national prominence and profiles other key players in the
movement, as well as the social and cultural conditions that gave
rise to the activism of the 1960s.
Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years, 1963-65. New York:
Volume two of
Pulitzer Prize winner’s narrative history of the Civil Rights
Movement and biography of King. Covers the Movement in the North,
Freedom Summer, Selma and the Voting Rights Act.
Cagin, Seth, and
Phillip Dray. We Are Not Afraid. New York: Macmillan, 1988.
The story of Chaney,
Goodman and Schwerner and the Mississippi civil rights campaign.
Carawan, Guy and
Candie. Sing for Freedom. Bethlehem, PA: Sing Out Corporation,
of two earlier Sing Out books: We Shall Overcome and Freedom
Story of the Civil
Rights Movement through its songs.
and Ekwueme Michael Thelwell. Ready for Revolution: The Life and
Struggles of Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture). New York: Scribner,
of a SNCC leader and leader of the Black Power movement.
In Struggle: SNCC and the Black Awakening of the 1960s. Cambridge,
MA: Harvard University Press, 1981.
A history of
one of the Civil Rights Movement’s major organizations. This
is a history of SNCC covering the organization from the sit-ins and
freedom rides through community organizing and Freedom Summer and
on to Black Power and the splintering and dispersal that followed.
Chafe, William H.
Civilities and Civil Rights: Greensboro, North Carolina and the
Struggle for Freedom. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.
A case study of
grassroots organizing during the Civil Rights Movement, written by
a major historian.
Bettye, and V.P. Franklin, editors. Sisters in the Struggle: African-American
women in the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements. New York:
University Press, 2001.
An anthology compiling
writings by black women active in the movement.
L. Women in the Civil Rights Movement: Trailblazers and Torchbearers,
1941-1965. Brooklyn, NY: Carlson Publishing, 1990.
A collection of
articles examining the individual and collective ways black women
contributed to the movement—through political activism, entertainment,
journalism, etc. Adapted from scholarly papers presented at a conference
Dittmer, John. Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi.
Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1994.
A narrative history
of the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi from World War II through
1968. Describes the efforts of individual activists and groups such
as CORE, SNCC, COFO and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.
Also offers interpretation on how and why the Mississippi movement
I May Not Get There with You: The True Martin Luther King, Jr.
New York: The Free Press, 2000.
of Dr. King emphasizes the radical core of his political beliefs.
Fager, Charles E.
Selma 1965: The March that Changed the South. Boston: Beacon
Story of the Selma
campaign 1964-65 and the March to Montgomery by an SCLC field worker.
To Redeem the Soul of America: The Southern Christian Leadership
Conference and Martin Luther King, Jr. Athens, GA: University of
Georgia Press, 2001.
Griggs. Soon We Will Not Cry: The Liberation of Ruby Doris Smith
Robinson. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1998.
Biography of a
major leader and activist in SNCC and the struggle for women’s
Subversive Southerner: Ann Braden and the Struggle for Racial Justice
in the Cold War South. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002.
Biography of famed
civil rights activist Ann Braden.
Garrow, David. Bearing
the Cross. New York: W. Morrow, 1986.
of Dr. King and the history of SCLC.
Garrow, David. The
FBI and Martin Luther King, Jr. New York: Viking Penguin, 1983.
racist obsession and persecution of Dr. King and the Movement.
Garrow, David. Protest
at Selma: Martin Luther King and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. New
Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1978.
and Steve Fayer. Voices of Freedom: An Oral History of the Civil Rights
Movement from the 1950s through the 1980s. New York: Bantam, 1990.
Hansen, Drew D.
Dream: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Speech that Inspired a Nation.
New York: Harper Collins, 2003.
Story of the events
leading up to Dr. King’s speech to the March on Washington in
1963, its effect, and how its meaning has affected the nation.
Bayard Rustin: Behind the Scenes of the Civil Rights Movement.
New York: Hyperion, 1997.
A biography of
the Civil Rights activist and organizer of the 1963 March on Washington.
Written for grades 5-8.
Civil Rights Movement: A Photographic History 1954-68. New
Abbeville Press, 2000.
collection with text by participants. Forward by Myrlie Evers-Williams.
Lawson, Steven and
Charles Payne. Debating the Civil Rights Movement, 1945-1968.
Lanham, MD: Roman and Littlefield, 1998.
Two scholars examine
the individuals and events of the Movement.
Levy, Peter. Documentary
History of the Modern Civil Rights Movement. New York:
Greenwood Press, 1992.
Ling, Peter J. Martin
Luther King, Jr. New York: Routledge, 2002.
A concise biography
of the Civil Rights leader.
Race, Reform, and Rebellion: The Second reconstruction of black
America from 1945-1982. Jackson, Miss.: University Press of Mississippi,
1991, or St. Martins Press, 1997.
McAdam, Doug. Freedom
Summer. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.
experiences of white northern volunteers during Freedom Summer. Based
on interviews with former volunteers, includes their recollections
of why they participated in the project and the impact that summer
had on their future.
Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama, Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution.
New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001.
of the Birmingham struggle of 1963.
Meier, August and
Elliot Rudwick. CORE: A Study in the Civil Rights Movement, 1942-1968.
New York: Oxford University Press, 1973.
An important history
of a major civil rights organization.
Got My Mind on Freedom: Maryland’s story of black-white activism,
1663- 2000. Bowie, MD: Heritage, 2003.
Mills, Kay. This
Little Light of Mine: The Life of Fannie Lou Hamer. New York: Dutton,
biography of a central figure in the Civil Rights Movement.
Moses, Robert, and
Charlie Cobb. Radical Equations: Organizing Math Literacy in America’s
Schools. Boston: Beacon Press, 2001.
About the Civil
Rights Movement, the Algebra Project, and why math literacy is a key
step in the fight for equal citizenship. Author (Moses) was a major
figure in the Civil Rights Movement, and applies some of the strategies
and ideas of the movement to the needs/challenges of late 20th century.
Freedom’s Daughters: The Unsung heroines of the Civil Rights Movement
1830-1970. New York: Scribner, 2001.
History of women’s
participation in the Movement.
Parsons, Sara. From
Southern Wrongs to Civil Rights: The Memoir of a white Civil Rights
activist. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, May 2000.
Story of a southern
woman’s political journey.
I’ve Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition and the
Mississippi Freedom Struggle. Berkeley: University of California
This study of
the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi focuses specifically on the
sociology of the grassroots organizations and the individuals who
would come to lead them. Uses Greenwood, MI as his case study.
In the Struggle Against Jim Crow: Lulu B. White and the NAACP, 1900-1957.
College Station, Tex.: Texas A&M University Press, 1999.
Divided Minds: Intellectuals and the Civil Rights Movement.
exposing the timid lack of support for the Movement on the part of
American intellectual elites.
Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic
Vision. Chapel Hill: North Carolina Press, 2003.
Biography of the
Movement leader (NAACP, SCLC, and SNCC supporter).
Reavis, Dick J.
If White Kids Die: Memories of a Civil Rights Movement Volunteer.
Denton, Tex.: University of North Texas Press, 2001.
Story of a summer
project volunteer and the movement in Demopolis, Alabama.
How Long? How Long? African-American Women and the Struggle for Civil
Rights. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.
strategies used by black women leaders during the Civil Rights Movement
and the challenges faced by activists.
and Blance Cook. Going South: Jewish women in the Civil Rights Movement.
New York: New York University Press, 2002.
and analysis of Freedom Movement activists.
The Struggle for Black Equality, 1964-1980. New York: Hill
& Wang, 1981. Revised edition, 1993.
An excellent overview
of the civil rights movement from World War II through the 1980s.
Describes the key players and events in the movement and traces the
legacy of the movement through to the issues facing blacks in America
Freedom Walk: Mississippi or Bust. Jackson: University Press of
Story of slain
Civil Rights Movement martyr Bill Moore and his Freedom Walk.
Stanton, Mary. From
Selma to Sorrow: Life & Death of Viola Luizzo. Athens: University
Georgia Press, 2000.
Biography of the
Civil Rights worker who was murdered by the KKK during the Selma Montgomery
march. She is the only white woman honored at the Civil Rights Memorial
at Montgomery, AL.
Van Deburg, William
L. New Day in Babylon: The Black Power Movement and American Culture,
1965-1975. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992.
A general historical
account of the rise and fall of the black-power
Melvin, editor. A Testament of Hope: The Essential writing of Martin
Luther King, Jr. New York: Harper-Collins, 1991.
Dr. King’s speeches, interviews, writings, etc.
Webb, Sheyann, and
Rachel West Nelson. Selma, Lord, Selma. Tuscaloosa: University
of Alabama Press, 1980.
Memoir of Selma’s
“youngest freedom fighters” Sheyann, age 8, and Rachel,
Weill, Susan. In
a Madhouse’s Din: Civil Rights coverage by Mississippi’s
Daily Press, 1948- 1968. Westport, Conn.: Praeger Publishers, 2002.
fight to desegregate Mississippi as reported by local newspapers.
Freedom Bound: History of the American Civil Rights Movement.
New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1990.
A superb chronology
of the post-war civil rights movement, in the North and South. Focuses
particularly on the coalition between blacks and whites and how it
failed to produce widespread social change.
Eyes on the Prize. New York: Viking, 1987.
to the PBS TV series of the same name documenting the Civil Rights
Movement from 1954-1965.
Woodward, C. Vann.
The Strange Career of Jim Crow. 3rd edition. New York: Oxford
University Press, 1974.
in 1955, this edition of Woodward’s groundbreaking history of
post-Civil War segregation and race relations in America includes
a chapter tracing the Civil Rights movement through the early 1970s.
SNCC the NEW Abolitionists. Boston: Beacon Press, 1964, 1965.
and vivid description of SNCC work in Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama
and elsewhere during 1960-65.
David Garrow et al. Eds. The Eyes on the Prize: Civil Rights Reader:
Documents, Speeches, and First Hand Accounts from the Black Freedom
1954-1990. New York: Viking Penguin, 1991.
of primary source material. Invaluable for its ability to give a
wide overview of the movement .
Freedom is a Constant Struggle: An Anthology of the Mississippi Civil
Rights Movement. Montgomery, AL: Black Belt Press, 1999.
of valuable original source material on Civil Rights Movement.
Writings by and Memoirs of Movement Leaders and Activists
Brown, Cynthia Stokes.
Ready from Within: Septima Clark and the Civil Rights Movement.
Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 1990.
First person narrative
of Septima Clark, one of the unsung heroines of the Movement.
and Charles Hamilton. Black Power: The Politics of Liberation in
America. New York: Penguin Books, 1967.
This major text
of the Black Power movement outlines the ideology of the movement
and argues for the establishment of black political organizations
and institutions as what the authors describe as “the last reasonable
opportunity for this society to work out its racial problems shout
of prolonged destructive guerrilla warfare.”
Deep in Our
Hearts, Nine White Women in the Freedom Movement. Athens: University
of Georgia Press, 2000.
memoirs of the Southern Freedom Movement.
King, Martin Luther
Jr. The Autobiography of Martin Luther King Jr. Clayborne Carson,
ed. New York: Warner Books, 2003.
Based on King’s
own writings and King archives.
King, Martin Luther
Jr. Why We Can’t Wait. New York: HarperCollins, 1964.
on the Birmingham campaign, the history of the civil rights movement,
and a call to action for future leaders.
Freedom Song. New York: W. Morrow, 1987.
of SNCC activist Mary King.
Moody, Anne. Coming
of Age in Mississippi. New York: Dell Publishing, 1975.
of a Mississippi Civil Rights activist – in her own words.
Seeger, Pete and
Bob Reiser. Everybody Says Freedom. New York: Norton, 1989.
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History of the
Civil Rights Movement in songs, pictures and interviews.
Websites and Web Resources
and annotated by SALEM in History staff
Odyssey: A Quest for Full Citizenship
This site showcases
a wide range of the Library of Congress’ marvelous African-American
collections. Includes commentary, background and numerous primary
sources (from photographs and song lyrics to manuscript sources, maps
and published material). Divided into nine sections that extend chronologically
and topically from “Slavery” to “Civil Rights,”
this site includes extended looks at slavery, free Blacks, abolitionism,
the Civil War, efforts to secure rights in the late 19th and early
20th centuries, the Great Depression and WWII and segregation. Because
it tells such a long history and emphasizing not just struggles but
achievements this site is a good place to look for sources and information
on the long history of the Civil Rights movement and the remarkable
people and groups who made up the story.
Department of Archives and History: Teacher Resources
(Using Primary Sources in the Classroom: Civil Rights Movement Unit)
Because many of
the major events of the twentieth century Civil Rights Movement happened
in Alabama, this site offers teachers access to five lesson plans
using Alabama sources that tell much of the main story of the Movement
in the 1950s and 1960s. The Unit’s chronological scope is from
Rosa Parks to the efforts to the Voting Rights Act. The site offers
a brief overview of the Civil Rights Movement and each document-rich
lesson includes background information and primary sources which include
criminal records, maps, statistical data, telegrams, newspaper articles
and manuscript sources. Most sources have been scanned in their original
form. There are also links to additional materials in the collections
of the Alabama Department of Archives and History.
Rights in Mississippi Digital Archives
A database of
digitized documents on race relations in Mississippi, hosted by the
University of Southern Mississippi. Includes letters and diaries from
Freedom Summer teachers and transcripts of more than 150 oral history
interviews, some that include audio clips. These are organized alphabetically
and are searchable. The website also includes a searchable database
of the civil rights movement-related manuscript and photograph collections
held by the library at USM—a small portion of which has been
digitized. USM is located in Hattiesburg—the site of the largest
1964 Freedom Summer project.
Civil Rights Movement
Developed by the
Bay Area Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement, this web site is a
clearinghouse of information for and about former civil rights activists.
Dozens of former SNCC, CORE and SCLC members have submitted brief
autobiographies, reflections on their participation, responses to
questions about the movement and their thoughts on current events.
The web site also includes more lengthy transcriptions of interviews
with activists and links to activists’ web sites and contact
information. Also includes a bibliography of books, videos, music
and websites about the movement—including those appropriate
for children and young adults. A great resource for primary source
information on what the movement meant to participants and what individual
activists have been up to for the past 30+ years.
Ole Miss: A Civil Rights Milestone
(at the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum website)
Drawing on the
collections at the JFK Library and Museum, this site makes available
to teachers and students a wonderful range of primary sources (e.g.
tape recordings, telegrams, images) related to the controversy and
events surrounding James Meredith’s attempt to register at the
all-white University of Mississippi in 1962 and the ensuing showdown
between the state and federal governments which drew President and
Massachusetts-native John F. Kennedy into the debate over Civil Rights.
The site does a particularly good job of framing the issues at stake
and contextualizing the event. Timelines and essays/introductions
to various aspects of the story (e.g. public opinion, James Meredith,
the days of confrontation, and life in Mississippi and the aftermath)
are included along with the primary sources. A specific “Teacher”
section of the site is still under construction (as of April 2004),
but note that the shape of the site is very teacher friendly as is.
For Justice”: by William Yeingst, with contributions from Lonnie
A two part essay
about the Smithsonian’s process of acquiring and displaying
the lunch counter from Woolworth’s in Greensboro, NC where the
first “sit-in” took place during the Civil Rights Movement.
Interesting inside look at how museum exhibits are designed and how
specific objects are interpreted to make sense of an era or movement.
The lunch counter is now on display at the Smithsonian’s Museum
of American History and the essay is accompanied by images and sound
recordings of related objects and materials in the collection that
help interpret the lunch counter and tell the story of sit-ins.
Poverty Law Center “Teaching Tolerance” project
website offers resources for teachers, parents, teens and children
about becoming more aware of issues of diversity and tolerance in
and out of the classroom. For teachers, there are resources and articles
on teaching and modeling tolerance in the classroom, curriculum and
lesson plans, kits and magazines, an online newsletter and information
on grants. For parents: recommended books, videos and playtime activities
and tips on dealing with difficult issues with children. The websites
for teens and children are geared towards their age and interests
with activities designed to make them more aware of diversity and
encourage them to get involved in their communities.
all the Folkways recordings. Here you will find links to, and ordering
information about, two collections of Civil Rights songs. Each link
includes a complete track list and offers brief clips of some of the
tracks for sampling.
1) Voices of the
Civil Rights Movement, Black American Freedom Songs, 1960-1966 (Smithsonian
“This double-CD reissue documents a central aspect of the cultural
environment of the Civil Rights Movement, acknowledging songs as the
language that focused people's energy. These 43 tracks are a series
of musical images, of a people in conversation about their determination
to be free. Many of the songs were recorded live in mass meetings
held in churches, where people from different life experiences, predominantly
Black, with a few White supporters, came together in a common struggle.
These freedom songs draw from spirituals, gospel, rhythm and blues,
football chants, blues and calypso forms. The enclosed booklet written
by Bernice Johnson Reagon provides rare historic photographs along
with the powerful story of African American musical culture and its
role in the Civil Rights Movement.”
2) Sing for Freedom the Story of the Civil Rights Movement Through
its Songs (Smithsonian Folkways 40032)
From the website: “Hymns, speeches, spirituals, gospel songs,
and prayers...a moving civil rights collection drawn from 1960s field
recordings in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee. The compilation
captures the irrepressible spirit of that era and reveals a determined
and triumphant African American culture. A collection of glorious
songs and heartstopping selections by The SNCC Freedom Singers, Martin
Luther King, Jr., Ralph Abernathy, and others.”
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Archives and Collections
--None listed at this
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--None listed at this
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