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The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr., Volume V
The Struggle to Pass the 1957 Civil Rights Act, 1955–1957

By Clarence Mitchell Jr.
Edited by Denton L. Watson

“Clarence Mitchell, Jr., for decades waged in the halls of Congress a stubborn, resourceful and historic campaign for social justice. The integrity of this ‘101st senator’ earned him the respect of friends and adversaries alike. His brilliant advocacy helped translate into law the protests and aspirations of millions consigned for too long to second-class citizenship. The hard-won fruits of his labors have made America a better and stronger nation.”

President Jimmy Carter, Citation for the Presidential Medal of Freedom

The Papers of Clarence Mitchell, Jr. is a primary source and analytical goldmine for scholars of civil rights and labor struggles in the twentieth-century United States…. Well organized, engagingly written, and edited with cogent commentary, these two volumes (III & IV) take us inside Mitchell’s activist office and let us hear his own words.”

Journal of Southern History

This fifth volume in The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr. series records the successful effort to pass the 1957 Civil Rights Act: the first federal civil rights legislation since 1875.

Prior to the US Supreme Court’s landmark 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education, in which it declared that segregation was discrimination and thus unconstitutional, the NAACP had faced an impenetrable wall of opposition in Congress from southerners who maintained that there was no need for civil rights legislation because their Jim Crow system was constitutional and that they did not practice racial discrimination. When the Brown decision demolished their argument, Mitchell launched the definitive stage of the struggle for passage of the civil rights laws in the modern period.

The passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957 was the first comprehensive implementation of a lobbying campaign by an organization dedicated to that purpose since Reconstruction. On the heels of the Brown decision, the 1957 law was a turning point in the struggle to accord Black citizens full equality under the Constitution.

The act’s passage was nearly derailed in the US Senate by southern opposition and Senator Strom Thurmond’s record-setting filibuster, which lasted over twenty-four hours. Congress later weakened several of the act’s provisions, but the act crucially broke a psychological barrier to the congressional passage of such measures.

The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr. series is a detailed, multivolume record of the NAACP leader’s success in bringing the legislative branch together with the judicial and executive branches to provide civil rights protections during the twentieth century.

Clarence Mitchell Jr. (1911–84) was a civil rights activist and, for nearly thirty years, a chief lobbyist for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Nicknamed the “101st Senator,” he was instrumental to the successful passage of the most consequential US civil rights legislative acts of the 1950s and 1960s.   More info →

Denton L. Watson, formerly director of public relations for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, is an associate professor at SUNY College at Old Westbury. He is author of Lion in the Lobby, Clarence Mitchell, Jr.’s Struggle for the Passage of Civil Rights Laws and editor of The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr.More info →

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Hardcover available January 04, 2022.
Cover of The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr., Volume V

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In Series

The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr.

Formats

Hardcover
978-0-8214-2459-9
Retail price: $80.00, S.
Release date: January 2022
9 illus. · 564 pages · 6.125 × 9¼ in.
Rights:  World

Electronic
978-0-8214-4745-1
Release date: January 2022
9 illus. · 564 pages
Rights:  World

Related Titles

Cover of 'The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr., Volume IV'

The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr., Volume IV
Director of the NAACP Washington Bureau, 1951–1954
By Clarence Mitchell Jr.
· Edited by Denton L. Watson

Volume IV of The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr. covers 1951, the year America entered the Korean War, through 1954, when the NAACP won its Brown v. Board of Education case, in which the Supreme Court declared that segregation was discrimination and thus unconstitutional.

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The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr., Volume III
NAACP Labor Secretary and Director of the NAACP Washington Bureau, 1946–1950
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Born in Baltimore in 1911, Clarence Mitchell Jr. led the struggle for passage of the 1957 Civil Rights Act, the 1960 Civil Rights Act, the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and the 1968 Fair Housing Act. Volumes I (1942–1943) and II (1944–1946) of The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr.,

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Clarence Mitchell Jr. was the driving force in the movement for passage of civil rights laws in America. The foundation for Mitchell’s struggle was laid during his tenure at the Fair Employment Practice Committee, where he led implementation of President Roosevelt’s policy barring racial discrimination in employment in the national defense and war industry programs. Mitchell’s FEPC reports and memoranda chart the beginning of the modern civil rights movement.The

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The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr., Volume I
1942–1943
By Clarence Mitchell Jr.
· Edited by Denton L. Watson

Clarence Mitchell Jr. was the driving force in the movement for passage of civil rights laws in America. The foundation for Mitchell’s struggle was laid during his tenure at the Fair Employment Practice Committee, where he led implementation of President Roosevelt’s policy barring racial discrimination in employment in the national defense and war industry programs. Mitchell’s FEPC reports and memoranda chart the beginning of the modern civil rights movement.The

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