Civil Rights & Earlham Archives


In 2014, we celebrate the 60th anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education, the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, and the 50th anniversary of Mississippi Freedom Summer. To commemorate these events the students of African and African American Studies and History 369: African American History Since Emancipation gathered numerous documents from the Earlham College Archives to compile this exhibit. The exhibit is multipurposed: to explore Earlham's activiity during the Civil Rights Movement, to make connections between Earlham and the larger Civil Rights Movement, and to familiarize students with archival research, the digitial turn in historical research, and to share their findings with the public. Enjoy!


This online digital archive was directed by the students of History 369/African and African American Studies 369: African American History Since Emancipation; Spring 2014. The instructor, Assistant Professor of History and AAAS Betsy Schlabach, thanks Amy Bryant, Associate Librarian, Jenny Freed, Assistant Archivist, and the Student workers of the Archives for their valuable assistance.


Housing in Civil Rights

This section details the role racial discrimination played in segregated housing. Housing discrimination was a major issue during the Civil Rights movement which gained recognition through the passage of several ordinances and legislation that banned discrimination in housing based on race, color, sex, religion, or national origin. 

By Desmond Adeniyi

Mississippi Freedom Summer

This is about Mississippi Freedom.

By Will Smith

Freedom Schools in Mississippi

Freedom Schools curriculum and purpose.

By Maria Mercado

Student Activism

This is about college student involvement in the Civil Rights movement. It includes Earham's involvement, but focuses on the participation of many colleges, and some of the reasons that students wanted change in racial relationships.

By Rachel Samuels

Malcolm X, Religion, and the Struggle for Civil Rights

Malcolm X, Religion, and the Struggle for Civil Rights

Religion and politics have both played a vital role in the civil rights movement. This is evidenced by reviewing the backgrounds of the leaders of the movement who have prominent religious backgrounds. Reverent Martin Luther King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference held its headquarters at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA where many clergymen lead the fight for civil rights during the 1960’s. Another prominent civil rights leader was Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam. Malcolm X was a Black Muslim who converted to Islam thanks to the religious and political teachings of Elijah Muhammad. Malcolm played an important role in the civil rights movement and helped convert many African Americans to his religion and eventual membership into the Nation of Islam. Malcolm X was eventually assassinated during a time of his highest popularity with the African American people; rumors still flourish about his killing and overall legacy as a leader.

Even before the time of King and Malcolm X, religion played a very powerful part in the civil rights struggle. The First and Second Great Awakenings ushered in an era of religious importance amongst American people thanks to energetic ministers who empowered their congregations spiritually, socially, and ultimately politically. The connection between religion and politics has historically caused problems in regard to legislation. The notion of separation between church and state has been a powerful sentiment in our country ever since the establishment of our constitution by our founding fathers. However, whether we like it or not, the two find themselves interconnected time and time again. This occurs because both law and religion are based completely on morality and the way people should treat one another. However, religion and law have fundamentally different views on how this should be instituted by society. Thus, these differences have been what have caused hundreds of years of struggle between the two, resulting in countless political and social revolutions throughout time.

By Adam Warning 

Civil Rights in the Midwest and Education

This focuses on The Civil Rights Movement in the Midwest and progress and struggles in Education for African Americans.

By Sydney Hough Solomon