Civil Rights Resources

This diverse selection of resources has been taken from the Historical Society’s Digital Library database. Each section contains photographs, flyers, and documents that detail the struggles and successes of the civil rights movement in Philadelphia and throughout much of the United States during the mid-20th century.

These materials were collected to serve as a resource for students participating in THE DREAM@50 art contest, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
K-12 students in ten cities, including Philadelphia, are invited to submit artwork inspired by a word or phrase from Dr. King’s Dream Speech.   An exhibit of student-created work is on display at museums around the country and can be seen on The Dream@50 Facebook page.

Photographs

Philadelphia Transit Company Employee Protest Parade

This photograph displays African American employees parading in protest of Philadelphia Transit Company at Reyburn Plaza in 1943. For more information and additional sources, please consult our online catalog.

 

Images from Concord Park

This is a collection news photographs and housing brochures for an interracial housing development, Concord Park, located in Trevose, Pennsylvania. The development was established in the 1950s by Quaker George Otto and Morris Milgram. For more information, please consult the finding aid for the Morris Milgram Papers.

 

Flyers & Publications

Pennsylvania Adopts First 1961 FHP Law

Pennsylvania adopts first 1961 Fair Housing Pennant, Trends in Housing, published by the National Committee Against Discrimination in Housing in 1961. For more information, please consult the finding aid for the Morris Milgram Papers.

Activists Coalitions in Philadelphia

This collection of activist coalition flyers from Philadelphia exhibit boycotting efforts against Caucasian store owners from the African American community. These flyers range in date from 1966 to 1971. For more information, please consult the finding aid for the Thelma McDaniel Collection. The collection consists of printed materials, ephemera, and other items from 1935 to 1989 spanning the breadth of the civil rights and black power movements in Philadelphia.

What is Social Action??

This flyer from October 1968 displays information for an upcoming speech on social action by Rev. Andrew J. Young of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference at the Historical Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia. For more information, please consult the finding aid for the Thelma McDaniel Collection.

A Salute to the Black Woman with the 3 Best Plays of W. Francis Lucas

This flyer for the Black Arts Spectrum Theatre, established in the 1960s, displays information for “A Salute to the Black Woman” at the Lee Cultural Center in Philadelphia. For more information, please consult the finding aid for the Thelma McDaniel Collection.

Concord Park Brochure

This brochure from 1956 was distributed by the interracial housing development Concord Park in Trevose, Pennsylvania, in close proximity to Philadelphia. It displays the various pricing levels, home layout options, and development plan. For more information, please consult the finding aid for the Morris Milgram Papers.

Association for Equalizing Industrial Opportunities

Flyer from the early 20th century for the Association for Equalizing Industrial Opportunities. Its mission supported opportunities for African American citizens to earn honest wages for fair labor. For more information, please consult the finding aid for the James Samuel Stemons papers. This collection contains documents of Stemons's personal and professional life as an outspoken advocate for equal industrial opportunities for African Americans. He served as field secretary of the Joint Organization of the Association for Equalizing Industrial Opportunities and the League of Civic and Political Reform. It also documents Stemons's personal and professional life, and includes correspondence, printed materials, writings, clippings, and the manuscript of his unpublished autobiographical novel.

Documents & Speeches

Letter Regarding Suffrage by Martin Luther King Jr.

Typed and hand signed letter by Martin Luther King Jr., president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The letter, from November, 1961, details his concern for moral and monetary support of suffrage for African Americans. For more information, please consult the finding aid for the Albert M. Greenfield papers. This collection contains correspondence, appointment books, publications, and graphics of Albert M. Greenfield (and family), a Jewish immigrant who became one of Philadelphia’s most prominent philanthropists.

Fellowship House, Marjorie Penney correspondence, 1961

This document is a 1961 news release by the Bankers Securities Corporation of Philadelphia. The release details Albert M. Greenfield introducing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the Academy of Music. For more information, please visit the finding aid for the Albert M. Greenfield papers.

Speech by Loren Miller Delivered at Conference National Committee Against Discrimination in Housing, Philadelphia, Dec. 12, 1958

Loren Miller delivered this speech at the conference of the National Committee Against Discrimination in Housing in Philadelphia, December  12, 1958. Miller was a California Superior Court Justice in the County of Los Angeles and an advocate for equal housing opportunities for minorities. For more information, please visit the finding aid for the Leon and Beatrice M. Gardiner collection. This collection consists of several folders of newspaper clippings that focus on African American people, institutions, events, and achievements, and many photographs.