Print Culture of the Civil Rights Movement, 1950-1980


The Civil Rights Movement in the United States coincided with rapid changes in a variety of news and communications media. The expansion of television and documentary filmmaking brought images of the struggles of African Americans and those who supported civil rights into the homes of the American populace. However, control of the tone and content of electronic media was not always in the hands of those who were being documented. It was the democratization of various printed media that allowed civil rights leaders, workers, and organizations to circulate their combined, and sometimes contradictory, voices.

This digital collection is an expansion of the exhibition The Revolution Will Not Be...: Print Culture of the Civil Rights Movement held at the Amistad Research Center in 2011. As the nation’s oldest, largest, and arguably most comprehensive independent archives/library documenting the modern Civil Rights Movement, the Amistad Research Center has brought together relevant documents from a variety of archival collections, including the papers of activists such as John O’Neal Papers, Fannie Lou Hamer Papers, Clarie Collins Harvey, Connie Harse, John Lee Tilley, as well as the Eric Steele Wells collection, the Center’s own ephemera collection, and other sources. This project highlights the newspapers, posters, broadsides, pamphlets, fliers, and other printed ephemera produced by student and community groups, leading civil rights organizations, and individuals, which documented a revolutionary era.

Students, teachers, researchers, and others are encouraged to contact the Center about this digital collection and related materials on the Civil Rights Movement held at Amistad. For more information, please visit the Center’s website (


An Appeal to You…to March on Washington
Flyer issued as a call for participation in the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Names listed include: Mathew Ahmann, Eugene Carson Blake, James Farmer, Martin Luther King Jr., John Lewis, Isaiah Minkoff, A. Philip Randolph, Walter Reuther, Roy Wilkins, and Whitney Young. Cleveland Robinson listed as Chairman of the Administrative Committee and Bayard Rustin listed as Deputy Director.
Be a Voter! Register Today at…
Voter registration card issued as part of the NAACP Non-Partisan Register and Vote Campaign
Birmingham Children
Armband worn in protest of the September 15, 1963, bombing 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, in which four girls were killed. Besides "Birmingham Children" the armband reads: "Produced by The Protestant Council of the City of New York."
Black Liberation Express No. 1
First issue of a periodical published by students at Southern University at New Orleans; Contents: visits to the university campus by Louisiana governor John J. McKeithen and J. Marshall Brown of the State Board of Education, inadequate pay for campus maintenance workers, "toms" of the week and year, Black Panther party in New York, racial tensions in Philadelphia.
Black Power Rally Against Columbia University
Flyer produced by the New York-Harlem chapter of CORE to organize a protest against Columbia University. This protest flyer against Columbia University was for one of a number of demonstrations held in April of 1968 to protest the university’s ties to the Vietnam War, as well as perceived segregationist aspects of the construction of a gymnasium by the school in Morningside Park, which linked the campus and the Harlem area of New York City.
The Black Revolution-What Next?
Flyer for rally in Harlem Square sponsored by Pan-African National Association in the Americas and Human rights Political Association in response to the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing. Speakers listed as Adam Clayton Powell, James Farmer, Charles Diggs Jr., Dick Gregory, Rev. Gardner C. Taylor, Lewis H. Michaux, James Baldwin, Bayard Rustin, Lloyd Dickens, Hope Stevens, Percy Sutton, Hulan E. Jack, Jackie Robinson, Paul Zuber, and Louis Lomax, with Alex Prempeh as master of ceremonies.
Boy-Cott Stag Beer
Flyer calling for a boycott of Stag Beer due to segregationist employment practices by its producer. The boycott likely took place in the St. Louis metropolitan area.
Calendar of Coercion
Pamphlet produced by CORE which provides a calendar of violence against civil rights workers, mostly in Louisiana, but also in Mississippi and Florida. Although not listed in the calendar, the deaths of James Chaney, Michael Schwerner, and Andrew Goodman, are highlighted through photographs. A list of churches burned, bombed or otherwise destroyed in Mississippi during the summer of 1964 is included.
Charles Evers for Congress
Leaflet issued by the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party in support of Charles Evers' campaign for U.S. Congress
Citizen Education Program
Brochure produced by SCLC outining the goals of its Citizenship Schools and efforts at voter registration.
Cleaver for President
Campaign button in support of Eldridge Cleaver's campaign for President of the United States
Clifton DeBerry election rally campaign flyer
Flyer for election rally in support of Clifton DeBerry's Socialist Workers Party campaign for President of the United States. Slate also includes Slater King (Leader of Albany Georgia Freedom Movement), Milton Henry (Leader of the Michigan Freedom Now Party and Congressional Candidate), and James Shabazz (Aide to Malcolm X and Representative of the Muslim Mosque Inc. Other names listed include: Dr. Otto Nathan, Richard Garza, Edward Shaw, and Peter Camejo.
COFO Newsnotes No. 1
Contents: National Lawyers' Guild; LCDC and Inc. Fund; Mississippi Freedom Labor Union; arrests in Natchez, Mississippi; Atlanta SNCC
COFO Newsnotes No. 2
Contents: Young Democratic Clubs of Mississippi; injunction against antidemonstration ordinance in Shaw, Mississippi; strike by plantation workers in Mississippi Delta; Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
Come See About Huey
Flyer produced to organize a demonstration in support of Huey Newton in San Francisco. Verso advertises a birthday benefit for Newton in Berkeley; illustrated with a reproduction of an Emory Douglass drawing; speakers include: David Hilliard, Elaine Brown, Charles Garry, Oscar Rios, and Ron Dellums.
Core-Lator (April 1961)
Contents: lunch counter picketing in New Orleans; desegregation of Kresge variety stores; school desegregation in New Rochelle, New York; stand-in by Lexington CORE at movie theater; job discrimation at Philadelphia restaurant; protests in Rock Hill, South Carolina; Freedom Rides; jailing of Patricia Stephens in Tallahassee, Florida; protest at Louisville, Kentucky, movie theaters.
Core-Lator (March-April 1961)
Contents: voter registration in Florida; opening of CORE office in New Orleans; Freedom Day in Canton, Mississippi; opening of community center in Canton, Mississippi; picketing of San Francisco hotels; CORE picketing of Jefferson Bank & Trust Co. in St. Louis; school segregation boycotts in New York, Cincinnati, Chicago, and Boston; CORE sit-in in Phoenix, Arizona; CORE sit-in at The Dobbs House Restaurant in Tallahassee; CORE Field Secretary Mary Hamilton; arrest of Lois Chaffee in Mississippi; CORE activities in Rhode Island, Cincinnati, and Quincy, Florida; picketing movie theaters in New Orleans; sit-in at library in East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana.
Death - A Rumor in Our Communities
Booklet containing an essay by Charles Kenyatta, a bodyguard and protégé of Malcolm X who became a Harlem street orator after the latter's death. This booklet was likely produced by Kenyatta and handed out in the streets. The wrappers feature inflammatory headlines and photos from two new York newspapers from May 1971.
Dick Gregory Campaign Money
Campaign money issued by Dick Gregory during his candidacy for President of the United States as a write-in candidate of the Freedom and Peace Party.
Dick Gregory for President Rally
Flyer for campaign rally for Dick Gregory at Town Hall in New York City sponsored by the Freedom & Peace Party