As the historiography of the civil rights movement has shifted from analysis of broad themes and events to the study of the grassroots level, the significance of papers of local movements has increased. Scholars are now focusing on the local dimensions of the post-1965 period, when strategies shifted and civil rights organizations turned to a variety of issues that differed from the targets of the 1950s and early 1960s. This collection opens a wider study into the activities of another Alabama city, one with a unique ethnic mix as well as a unionized work force that rivaled that of Birmingham.
44 reels in two parts Part 1: The John L. LeFlore Papers, 1926-1976
John L. LeFlore's career as a community leader and civil rights activist spanned fifty years (1925-1975). He was the most significant figure in the struggle for black equality in Mobile, Alabama, throughout southern Alabama and Mississippi, and along the Florida Gulf Coast. The John L. LeFlore Papers shed the light on the civil rights movement in the urban South, document the development and early work of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in Mobile. Materials in the collection document LeFlore's prolific work in both public and private life. LeFlore was the first African American appointed to the Housing Board and, with J. Gary Cooper, was the first African American elected to the state legislature from Mobile since Reconstruction.
Part 2: Records of the Non-Partisan Voters League, 1956-1987
The Non-Partisan Voters League was organized in Mobile, Alabama. The exact date of its origin is unknown but it is believed to be before 1956. That year the attorney general of the state of Alabama and the state court system forced the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to cease all operations in the state. The bulk of the materials dating between 1961 and 1975.