The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr. is a nine-volume historical documentary edition of the NAACP Washington Bureau historical papers that were prepared by the Baltimore, Maryland, native during his struggle for the passage of civil rights laws. The publications begin with the weekly, monthly, and annual reports Mitchell prepared when he was associate director of the Fair Employment Practice Committee, the agency created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941 to end discrimination in the national defense industry. Creation of the FEPC marked the beginning of the modern civil rights movement. The papers are thus another indispensable source for studying the revolutionary evolution of America’s social history and constitutional system of government in the modern period.
The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr. document the contributions of eight presidents to the establishment and enforcement of a national civil rights program. They provide the foundation for assessing the contributions to the civil rights struggle of the armed services, the justice department and other federal agencies during their administrations. The papers document how “Desegregation by Presidential Order” was achieved. They show how Mitchell developed the evolutionary strategy in Congress for winning passage of the 1957 Civil Rights Act, the first such measure in 82 years, the 1960 Civil Rights Act, the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the 1968 Fair Housing Act, and the adoption of constructive national policies for enforcing those laws.
The documentary editing project is sponsored by SUNY College at Old Westbury and funded by, in addition to the NHPRC, the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation.