The Civil Rights Movement and the Federal Government
Records of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, 1958-1973
This microfilm collection chronicles the activities of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division during the highpoint of the post-World War II freedom struggle. The collection focuses on many of the most important episodes during this period, including:
– the Justice Department’s position on antilynching legislation, including numerous statements by Department of Justice officials in support of antilynching legislation;
– the brutal lynchings of Cleo Wright and Mack Charles Parker;
– 1961 Freedom Rides and discrimination in interstate travel;
– school desegregation in the south following Brown v. Board of Education decision, including Virginia’s comprehensive legal effort to prevent school desegregation;
– Justice Department reaction to the sit-ins of the early 1960s and involvement in the seven sit-in cases that went to the Supreme Court
passage and implementation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, including Title VII litigation;
– implementation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, including voter registration activities.
The collection consists of the files of six different officials in the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. These officials are: W. Wilson White (Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division, 1958-1959); Joseph M. F. Ryan Jr. (Acting Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division, 1958-1960); Burke Marshall (Civil Rights Division attorney, 1961-1965); St. John Barrett (Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, 1965-1967); John Doar (Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, 1960-1967); and David L. Norman (Acting Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, 1969-1973) (12 Reels).