Civil Rights Activists & Organizations

Angelo, Frank

Managing editor of the Detroit Free Press, president of the Michigan Press Association, 1969, and national treasurer of Sigma Delta Chi, professional journalism society.

Activities and topical files; speeches; papers concerning work on Cooley High School Community Council, Detroit, Michigan, files concerning Detroit race relations and the Detroit riot of 1967; papers relating to Detroit Press Club; and photographs.

Finding aid available online.

Ann Arbor Human Rights Commission

Agency of the city of Ann Arbor established in 1957 as the Human Relations Commission to investigate and deal with issues of racial discrimination in housing and employment. The name of the agency was changed in 1970 to the Human Rights Commission. The scope of the Commission came to include complaints of discrimination against women, gays, and the disabled.

The record group provides substantial documentation of issues of racial discrimination in employment and housing in Ann Arbor, Michigan in the period of 1957 to 1993. Included are files relating to the establishment of the commission, minutes (through 1993 with some gaps), memoranda (1968-1970), topical files, early case files (1965-1970), and student intern projects and reports of members of the community practice program within the University of Michigan School of Social Work.

Finding aid available online.

Asher, Cash

Newspaperman and free lance journalist.

Correspondence and other material concerning Asher's research projects, particularly the Ossian Sweet murder trial in Detroit, and the scientific career of William F. Koch; and newspaper and magazine articles and books; also photograph. Correspondents include Charles E. Coughlin, Clarence Darrow, Robert Kennedy, William F. Koch, and Walter White.

MIRLYN entry

Baskin, Alex

Professor of history, State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Transcripts of interviews with participants in the Ossian Sweet murder trial (Detroit, Michigan, 1925) including Thomas F. Chawke, John C. Dancy, Charles Mahoney, William C. Osby, Sr., Cecil L. Rowlette, Otis Sweet and Robert M. Toms. Includes material concerning trial judge, Frank Murphy, and defense lawyer, Clarence Darrow.

MIRLYN entry

Bloch, Peter R.

New York City journalist and historian.

Letters received from friend Robert F. Williams, militant African American civil rights activist. In the letters Williams discusses his arrest at a student sit-in protest, his struggles as a civil rights leader in the South, his travel plans, and his appreciation of Bloch's writings.

MIRLYN entry

Carr, Marian

Member of the Ann Arbor (Mich.) Human Relations Commission, 1957-1960 and the Ann Arbor-Washtenaw County (Mich.) American Civil Liberties Union.

Minutes, correspondence, clippings and printed material dealing largely with problems of race relations in Ann Arbor, Michigan, particularly discrimination in housing and employment.

Finding aid available online.

BAM flyer

Black Action Movement student-made
Victory Dance' flyer. From Box 1 of the
John Erlich papers.

Detroit, Michigan

MIRLYN entry

Detroit, Michigan

MIRLYN entry

Detroit Riot Oral History Project

Interviews conducted by Sidney Fine.

Interviews with community leaders and law enforcement and political officials about the Detroit Riot of 1967.

MIRLYN entry

Eley, Lynn W.

Professor of political science at University of Michigan, and Democratic city councilman for Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1961-1963.

Material concerning his council activities, his work for the Michigan Advisory Committee on Reorganization of State Government, and the Michigan State Science Advisory Board.

Finding aid available online.

Erlich, John

Associate professor of social work at University of Michigan.

Newspaper clippings, leaflets, and other printed material relating to the Black Action Movement campaign in the spring of 1970 to increase enrollment of black students at the University; and publications concerning welfare rights, student activism and civil rights.

MIRLYN entry

Eynon, Bret

Papers, collected by Bret Eynon, student at the University of Michigan, relating to his interest in the radical causes and issues of the 1960s and 1970s.

Topical files relating to the Black Action Movement (BAM) strike at the University of Michigan, John Sinclair, draft resistance, protests about the war in Vietnam, the Welfare Rights Organization, and feminism and the women's movement.

Finding aid available online.

Feingold, Eugene

Professor of health management and policy at the University of Michigan School of Public Health; also active in various civil liberties and social justice causes.

The collection primarily relates to his interest in, and activities with, civil liberties and social justice causes and organizations; other files relate to minority relations at the University of Michigan and to his activities with Faculty Against Institutional Racism organization; also files pertaining to his chairmanship of the department of medical care organization.

Finding aid available online.

Fine, Sydney

Professor of history at the University of Michigan.

Collected materials pertaining to his research interests; include materials relating to automobile code of the N.R.A., including correspondence, memoranda, testimony, minutes of the meetings of mediation and negotiation with the auto industry, and decisions of the Automobile Labor Board; and copies of FBI and Justice Department files relating to the 1967 Detroit riot.

Finding aid available online.

BAM Protest

Black Action Movement protest, 1970. From Box 21
of the Michigan Daily records.

Foster, Madison

Student at the University of Michigan, later lecturer in social work, and active member of the League of Revolutionary Black Workers (LRBW).

Materials relating to the Black Action Movement (BAM) strike at the University of Michigan in 1970; papers detailing his involvement with the LRBW, the International Black Appeal (IBA), and other black organizations.

Finding aid available online.

Hall, Gwendolyn Midlo

Professor of history, civil rights activist, scholar of African American history.

Family and professional correspondence, newspaper clippings, articles, reviews, and printed material reflecting her interest in black history, the case of Robert Williams, and her scholarly interests.

Finding aid available online.

Hill family

Charles A. Hill was pastor of Hartford Memorial Baptist Church (formerly Hartford Avenue Baptist Church) in Detroit, 1920-1969.

Papers of Charles A. Hill and family pertaining to his church activities and to his involvement in various political and civil rights causes; includes minute book to the meetings of the Detroit chapter of the NAACP, 1944-1947; collected material on Hill and his activities gathered by the Detroit Police Department; and scrapbooks of clippings and photographs of Hill relating to his role as a pastor.

Scrapbooks of photographs and other memorabilia detailing his pastoral career and his involvement in Detroit events. Included are portraits and informal photos of Hill and his family; also photos of church events and groups.

Finding aid available online.

Hudson, Joseph L.

Papers of Joseph L. Hudson, Jr., Detroit (Mich.) businessman and chairman of New Detroit Committee, organization established after the 1967 Detroit Riot to investigate and remedy the causes of that civil disturbance.

Correspondence, reports, speeches, articles, photographs, and printed material relating to the riot and to his work with New Detroit.

Finding aid available online.

Institute of Public Policy Studies (University of Michigan)

Records, 1967-1971, of the studies on the Detroit riot of 1967 conducted by Joel Aberbach and Jack Walker, staff members of the Institute of Public Policy Studies of the University of Michigan; includes survey forms, 1967, 1968 and 1971, audio-tapes of interviews with Detroit civic leaders; and administrative records of the project.

Finding aid available online.

Kleinman, Rose Parker

Detroit, Michigan, social activist and reformer.

Correspondence and subject files relating to her interest in cooperatives, especially organizations concerned with low-income, open housing projects; also photographs and audio-tapes.

Finding aid available online.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Symposium

Annual symposium held at the University of Michigan dedicated to developing "programs and initiatives to continue and remember the work and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr."

Schedules, programs, posters, and anthologies from the 1st (1988) to 19th (2006) Martin Luther King, Jr. Symposia. The bulk of the materials originate from the Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee (under the direction of the Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives). The collection also includes materials originating from various other academic units at the University of Michigan.

MIRLYN entry

McMahon, Joseph E.

Law student at the University of Michigan.

Seminar paper for class in American legal history at the University of Michigan.

MIRLYN entry

Monroe County (Mich.)

Registrations, poll lists and election returns, 1820-1888; highway assessment and tax records, 1819-1943; assessment roll of Milan township, Michigan, 1902, lists and abstracts of sales of state lands, 1860-1899; tavern permits, 1836-1838; abstracts of permits, occupations and new establishments, 1830-1840; bonds, 1822 and 1841-1892; drain survey, 1861; certificates of sales of swamp lands, 1867; census reports of Port Lawrence township (later part of Ohio), 1827, and Ida township, 1837; military lists,

1869-1886; contracts of Monroe County Detecting Society (vigilance committee) for 1848 and 1853; school reports, 1835-1883 and school census, 1914 and 1920.

Finding aid available online.

MLK Dinner Ball Program

Third Annual Martin Luther King Dinner
Ball program of the National Association
of Negro Business and Professional
Women's Clubs Inc., Ann Arbor Chapter.
From Box 1 of the Raymond G. Mullins

Mullins, Raymond G.

Ypsilanti, Michigan attorney active in community affairs, particularly in areas of civil rights and minority education. President of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Ypsilanti-Willow Run Branch, 1981-1982 and 1987 to 1998.

Correspondence, papers associated with his involvement in NAACP activities, documents relating to judgeship candidacy in 1992, printed material culled from Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebrations, and papers documenting service to Brown Chapel A.M.E. church.

Finding aid available online.

Potts, Robert L.

Episcopal priest, member of the executive committee of the Metropolitan Detroit Citizens Development Authority, civic organization established with the goals of improving the economic, social, educational, cultural and general welfare of the people of the city of Detroit, Michigan; also coordinator of the Youth Opportunity Council of Detroit.

Executive committee minutes, financial statements, and miscellaneous papers relating to his activities; also writings of his son, Randolph Potts; also sound recordings of sermons given by Potts.

Sound recordings of sermons preached at Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Detroit, Michigan.

MIRLYN entry

Smith, Otis M

Attorney, Michigan state official, justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, 1961-1966, regent of the University of Michigan Board of Regents, 1967-1971, general counsel and vice president of the General Motors Corporation.

Series consist of personal which includes biographical information and photographs; speeches (1963-1992); Michigan Public Service Commission files (1957-1959); Auditor General files (1959-1961); General Motors Corporation files (1967-1969); University of Michigan Board of Regents files (1967-1971) which documents in part the Black Action Movement, the controversy over the role of R.O.T.C., and other issues involving the administration of the university; campaign files (1966-1968); and Michigan Supreme Court files (1961-1966).

Finding aid available online.

Sweet, Ossian

Proceedings of the People vs. Ossian Sweet, et al in the Recorder's Court of Detroit, Michigan.

Testimony presented before Judge Frank Murphy, and arguments of prosecuting attorney, Robert Toms, and defense attorney, Clarence Darrow.

MIRLYN entry

Taylor, Hobart

Papers of Hobart Taylor, Jr., attorney and businessman, associate counsel to President Lyndon Johnson, later director of the Export-Import Bank.

Correspondence, speeches, and oral history interviews; files relating to his work with Plans for Progress, a voluntary association of business and industry working to promote equal employment opportunities; his work on the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunities, the NAACP, the Commandant of the Marine Corps' Advisory Committee for Minority Affairs; topical files with files on Democratic politics in the 1960's, and his work with Johnson and Vice-President Hubert Humphrey.

Finding aid available online.

Thomas Jr., Charles

Charles Thomas, Jr. was born on November 29, 1937, in Wilson, Arkansas. When he was young, his family moved to the Ann Arbor, Michigan, area. After retiring from a military career, Thomas returned to Ann Arbor in 1967, and became heavily involved in the Civil Rights movement. His enthusiastic participation in the movement led to brushes with the law, resulting in the Michigan State Police monitoring his activities compiling information into the so-called "Red Squad Files."

In 1970, Thomas founded the Washtenaw County Black Economic Development League (WCBEDL), a non-profit organization dedicated to the education of minority youth. WCBEDL offered training in electronics, construction, and computer use and repair. Thomas died on August 2, 1994.

The papers in the Charles Thomas, Jr. collection are divided into four series: Personal/Biographical, Washtenaw County Black Economic Development League (WCBEDL), Topical Files, and Photographs. The Personal/Biographical series contains Thomas' personal scrapbooks, copies of his "Red Squad" files, and documentation of his legal battles. Materials in the Washtenaw County Black Economic Develompent League series describe the formation of WCBEDL, its funding, and programs offered.

Correspondence in the WCBEDL series includes four letters from Coretta Scott King. The Topical series contains information on Thomas' miscellaneous activities and interests. Photographs of Thomas and his ex-wife Patricia are in the Photograph series as well as photos of WCBEDL activities, Ann Arbor Black Theatre productions, Black Action Movement (BAM) demonstrations, and the Upland Hills Ecological Awareness Center.

Finding aid available online.

Thompson, Harold

Detroit, Michigan, businessman and civic leader, layman in the Protestant Episcopal Church, and state government official.

Subject files relating to his involvement in church affairs, the Mayor's Interracial Committee, established after the Detroit Riot of 1943, the Pathfinders organization, and politics; also scattered clippings, correspondence, photographs, and printed materials; and scrapbook.

MIRLYN entry

Walker, Moses L.

Officer in the Great Lakes Mutual Life Insurance Company at Detroit, Michigan and with the Detroit branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Correspondence concerning the Plymouth Congregational Church of Detroit, Michigan, local politics, social problems and civil rights, and partial transcript of the Ossian Sweet Murder Trial. Correspondents include: Prentiss M. Brown, Wilber M. Brucker, James J. Couzens, Clarence Darrow, Frank Murphy, and George Murphy. Also, portrait (photonegative).

MIRLYN entry

Wheeler, Albert H. and Emma M.

Albert and Emma Wheeler were community and civil rights leaders from Ann Arbor, Michigan. Albert Wheeler was also professor of microbiology and dermatology at the University of Michigan. In addition, he and his wife helped to establish the local chapter of the NAACP. Albert Wheeler was elected to the office of mayor of Ann Arbor and served from 1975 to 1978.

The series in the collection are Personal/Biographical; NAACP/Civil Rights Activities; Mayoralty Files; University of Michigan; and Photographs. The collection documents the Wheelers' devotion to the cause of civil rights and their involvement with numerous civil rights and community organizations. The collection also includes Albert Wheeler's mayoralty files.

Finding aid available online.

Robert F. Williams and Mao

Robert F. Williams and Mao Zedong,
undated. From Box 14 of the Robert
F. Williams papers.

Williams, Robert Franklin

Civil rights activist, black militant, and president of the Detroit, Michigan-based Republic of New Africa.

Correspondence, newsletters entitled, "The Crusader", radio broadcasts entitled, "Radio Free Dixie", audio tapes and photographs; include materials concerning his life in Cuba, 1961-1966, in the People's Republic of China, 1966-1969, and concerning his legal fights against extradition to North Carolina on charges of kidnapping.

Photographs and videocassettes primarily detailing his visits to China, Africa, Cuba, and Vietnam; alos funeral service, 1996.

Finding aid available online.

Willis, Mattie Azalia

Battle Creek, Michigan singer and music teacher, member of the Battle Creek chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Correspondence, newspaper clippings, and other material relating to her professional career, and diaries recording daily activities and personal thoughts; also photographs.

Portraits and informal photographs of Willis, alone and with friends and associates; photographs of theatrical productions in which Willis performed; and photographs of Willis.

Finding aid available online.