Monthly Archives: April 2010

Dorothy Height, 1912-2010

Learn more about the fascinating life of civil rights pioneer Dorothy Height by reading her memoir, Open Wide the Freedom Gates. A copy of the book is available in the Stone Center Library.

Several books by Height are available in electronic format via the library catalog. Search for “Height, Dorothy” in the catalog to bring up the results.

An obituary can be found online at the New York Times web site.

New Resource: James Meredith, J. Edgar Hoover, and the Integration of the University of Mississippi

This collection documents James Meredith’s attempt to integrate the then all-white University of Mississippi in fall 1962 and the immediate aftermath. Mississippi’s refusal to allow Meredith to register led to a showdown between state and federal authorities and the storming of the campus by a segregationist mob. Two people died and dozens were injured. In the end, Ole Miss, the state of Mississippi, and the nation were forever changed. This database contains extensive FBI documentation on Meredith’s battle to enroll at the University of Mississippi in 1962 and white political and social backlash, including his correspondence with the NAACP and positive and negative letters Meredith received from around the world during his ordeal.

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New Resource: Federal Surveillance of African Americans, 1920-1984

Black Americans of all political persuasions were subject to federal scrutiny, harassment and prosecution. The FBI enlisted black ‘confidential special informants’ to infiltrate a variety of organizations. Hundreds of documents in this collection were originated by such operatives. The reports provide a wealth of detail on ‘Negro’ radicals and their organizations that can be found nowhere else.

In addition to infiltration, the Bureau contributed to the infringement of First Amendment freedoms by making its agents a constant visible presence at radical rallies and meetings. Militant Socialist A. Philip Randolph was followed from city to city and The Messenger’s office was vandalized by zealous protectors of the nation’s security. A perusal of Bureau case files for this period indicates that black radicalism was one of the major preoccupations and targets of the federal investigatory network.

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