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Civil Rights Act, 1957

The Civil Rights Act of 1957 was passed in order to ensure that all
Americans could exercise their right to vote. It was the first civil
rights legislation passed since Reconstruction. It sought to address
practices such as the administration of literacy tests and poll taxes
that had effectively disenfranchised many African Americans living in
the South. Its enactment also came after African Americans were
increasingly targeted with violence following the U.S. Supreme
Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision ending segregation
in schools. The law showed a renewed national attention to
guaranteeing civil rights to all Americans. In addition, it
established the Commission on Civil Rights, a federal oversight
committee that examined public opinion and state laws regarding civil
rights.

Associated Archive Content : 28 results

A Christian Movement in a Revolutionary Age

In this address, Dr. King fuses the philosophies in the Old and New Testament regarding revolutionary social change. He argues that the most creative and constructive revolutionary force for change is one that combines the Old Testament’s “righteousness and justice that flow down like a mighty stream” with the New Testament’s call to love one’s enemies and bless those who persecute you. He asserts that God has been working actively since the time of Moses for the freedom and perfection of people and society. Dr.

Address by MLK to the National Press Club

During an address to the National Press Club in Washington, Dr. King declares the time for racial justice has arrived.

Agenda for the Leadership Conference Executive Committee Meeting

Arnold Aronson sends the agenda for an upcoming meeting for the Executive Committee of the Leadership Conference. Important topics of discussion include the Civil Rights Act of 1967 and the Freedom Budget.

Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy on House Resolution 7152

Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy comments on House Bill 7152, the bill that eventually culminated in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Kennedy argues that the bill is a "test" to white Americans and that it must "effectively eliminate racial discrimination in voting, education and in employment." He addresses the eleven titles of the bill and describes the differences between the current bill and the version introduced by the president. Kennedy finally asserts that if the bill is not passed, then "the whole nation will be the loser."

Civil Rights Act of 1957

The Civil Rights Act was signed into law on September 9, 1957 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Commonly referred to as the Civil Rights Act of 1957, this was the first such federal law since Reconstruction. The law was aimed at ending voter discrimination tactics such as poll taxes and literacy tests, but it also created the Civil Rights Commission to ensure proper administration of the law.

Letter from Florida Writer to President Lyndon Johnson on True Equality

This letter from a Florida resident to President Johnson expresses the writer's views on the nation's racial challenges.

Letter from J. P. Brookshire to MLK

J. P. Brookshire supports Dr. King's desire for equality and justice, but is critical of the methods by which Dr. King uses to obtain these goals. He also criticizes Dr. King's stand on the conflict in Vietnam and the draft.

Letter from John and Enid Howarth to Friends Soliciting Financial Support

Mr. and Mrs. Howarth of New Mexico express their disapproval of violence against Negroes in the South and request donations for a Fourth of July celebration in support of SCLC, SNCC and other civil rights groups.

Letter from Richard Nixon to MLK

Vice President Nixon writes to Dr. King concerning the efficiency and effectiveness of the Civil Rights Bill. He expresses his gratitude for a previous correspondence from Dr. King and ensures his continued advocacy of civil rights legislation.

Meet the Press Interview with Roy Wilkins and MLK

This document is a transcript of NBC’s “Meet the Press” televised press conference with Dr. King and Roy Wilkins. The program is moderated by Ned Brooks. Frank Van Der Linden, Robert MacNeil, Richard Wilson, and Lawrence Spivak are panelists. Some of the topics covered are the goals of the March on Washington, a concern about whether the Civil Rights Movement is pushing too hard, and past political affiliations of Bayard Rustin.

Memorandum from MLK to SCLC

In this memorandum to the representatives of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Dr. King encloses two resolutions that the Executive Board approved. The resolutions state that a letter should be sent to Senator Thomas C. Hennings and Attorney General William P. Rogers. Dr. King suggests that the resolutions be adopted at all of the SCLC's mass meetings, scheduled for February 12th.

MLK Addresses the District 65 AFL-CIO

This is an address given by Dr. King to District 65 of the National AFL-CIO Convention in Miami, Beach. Dr. King recognizes their contribution to the Southern Christen Leadership Conference.

MLK's Crawfordville, Georgia Speech

Dr. King rallies the people to keep pushing forward with nonviolent actions to gain freedom and dignity as human beings.

New York Times: The Case Against Tokenism

In this article for the New York Times, Dr. King writes of his experiences in an Albany, GA jail. Furthermore, he submits the idea that a delayed response to integration and equality for all is no longer acceptable due to the Negro having a "new sense of somebodiness."

Remarks at the University of Wisconsin Law School

Harris Wofford, Jr. gives these remarks at the University of Wisconsin Law School on March 8, 1960. Wofford has several ties with Dr. King in cases such as arranging a trip to India, helping to write "Stride Toward Freedom," and negotiating with Senator Kennedy and Vice-President Nixon during the 1960 presidential campaign. In addition, Wofford was the Special Assistant for Civil Rights under U. S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy.

SCLC Annual Report by MLK, 1965

Dr King delivered this report at the SCLC's ninth annual national convention in Birmingham, Alabama. Serving essentially as a State of the Union address for the SCLC, the report touches on the major topics of the Civil Rights Movement and the recent achievements and goals of the SCLC.

SCLC Newsletter: March 1964

The March, 1964 SCLC newsletter reports many news items, including a voter registration drive in Alabama, the results of several legal cases, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, an article criticizing Judge Durwood T. Pye and the use of interracial primers in Detroit's public schools.

SCLC Voter Registration Prospectus 1961

The SCLC Voter Registration Prospectus discusses the importance of the Negro vote. The SCLC believes that by voting, the Negro "can be heard and demand equal consideration." They believe that for a voter registration drive to be successful it must be church oriented. Thus, this prospectus outlines the programs and organizations needed for a church-oriented registration drive. Also included is a list of duties for the SCLC staff and a proposed budget for the drive.

SCLC: Summary Of Ninth Annual Convention

This summary of the SCLC's Ninth Annual Convention describes events that were instrumental in the formation of the organization. The document outlines the ongoing projects of the organization and offers proposals for future efforts.

Southern Leaders Conference letter to Eisenhower

Ministers meeting at the Southern Negro Leaders Conference on Transportation and Non-Violent Integration co-signed this letter to Pres. Eisenhower.

Special to the New York Times: A Cry of Hate or a Cry for Help

Dr. King addresses the recent riots occurring in the county of Watts near Los Angeles. He believes the riots are not solely race-driven but are also motivated by unemployment. The riots are utilized as a way to be heard, and not as a way to destroy.

Statement from the Commission on Civil Rights

Clarence H. Hunter issued this statement to share the news that the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights would be holding a public hearing in Montgomery, Alabama to collect information regarding the condition of African Americans in Alabama. Hunter states the purpose of the Commission's investigation and names the notable members of the investigation.

The Civil Rights Struggle in the United States Today

This pamphlet, published by the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, is a transcript of an address delivered by Dr. King titled "The Civil Rights Struggle in the United States Today." In his first speech before the organization, Dr. King recounts the history of the global civil rights movement.

Transcript of National Educational Television's For Freedom Now

For Freedom Now, with host Dr. Kenneth Clark, is television’s first exchange of ideas by the leaders of five organizations engaged in securing full civil rights for Negroes. Featured guests are Dr. King of SCLC, Whitney Young of the National Urban League, James Farmer of CORE, James Forman of SNCC, and Roy Wilkins of the NAACP.

U.S. News & World Report: Negro Leaders Tell Their Plans for '64

Past, present and future efforts in the area of civil rights are discussed in interviews of five organizational leaders in the civil rights movement. These leaders are: Whitney M. Young, Jr. of the National Urban League, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. of the SCLC, Roy Wilkins of the NAACP, James L. Farmer of CORE, and James Forman of SNCC.

Unitarian Universalist Statement of Consensus on Racial Injustice

The Fifth General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association listed several laws adopted by the association. Some of the laws incorporate civil rights, demonstrations, voting rights, equality, civil disobedience, and discrimination in employment and housing.

White Backlash Growing

The intensity in the Civil Rights Movement increased as blacks remained segregated and the Black Power movement gained popularity. White backlash increased during these times, but Dr. King noted that demonstrations "did not breed hate, but only revealed hatred that already existed."

White House Message on Civil Rights

President Johnson's message to Congress explains strides the U.S. has made in the social, educational and economic conditions of minorities in America. It also discusses areas that need improvement such as infant mortality rates and poverty levels among non-whites. The President calls for legislation to prevent violence against those exercising their civil rights, to strengthen enforcement powers of the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission, to prevent discrimination on federal and state juries, and to guarantee fair housing.