Purchase Volumes

The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr. are currently available as print publications through the Ohio University Press (OUP). Volumes can be purchased online at the Ohio University Press website and a ful list of letterpress volumes with the corresponding links can be found below.

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The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr., Volume I (1942–1943)

"Clarence Mitchell Jr. was the driving force in the movement for passage of civil rights laws in America. The foundation for Mitchell's struggle was laid during his tenure at the Fair Employment Practice Committee, where he led implementation of President Roosevelt's policy barring racial discrimination in employment in the national defense and war industry programs. Mitchell's FEPC reports and memoranda chart the beginning of the modern civil rights movement.

The first two volumes of a projected five-volume documentary edition of The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr. illuminate the FEPC's work as a federal affirmative-action agency and the government's struggle to enforce the nation's antidiscrimination policy in industry, federal agencies, and labor unions."
– from the Ohio University Press

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The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr., Volume II (1944–1946)

A continuation of Volume 1, Volume 2 also documents Mitchell's time at the Fair Employment Practice Committee. It also documents his role in implementing the agency's nondiscrimination policy and programs for opening up job opprotunities to African Americans and others covered by the order. Furthermore, it acknowledges the strategies he subsequently developed to preserve and strengthen the FEPC idea until Congress enacted a permanent agency and nondiscrimination program in 1964.

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The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr., Volume III (1946–1950)

"Mitchell launched his career with the NAACP as a messianic advocate for the passage of civil rights laws by first creating programs for eliminating discriminatory employment practices in industry, labor unions, and the government. His subsequent focus included the NAACP’s struggles to end segregation in the armed services and to eliminate Jim Crow in navy yards, schools on military posts, veterans hospitals, atomic energy installations, government restaurants, and many other federal establishments.

Those struggles are carefully documented in the monthly and annual reports of the NAACP Labor Department and the NAACP Washington Bureau from 1946 to 1950 and from 1951 to 1954, which comprise companion volumes III and IV of The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr. The volumes are extensively supported by other documents in the appendix from the NAACP’s archives."
– from the Ohio University Press

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The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr., Volume IV (1951–1954)

"Volume IV of The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr. covers 1951, the year America entered the Korean War, through 1954, when the NAACP won its Brown v. Board of Education case, in which the Supreme Court declared that segregation was discrimination and thus unconstitutional. The decision enabled Mitchell to implement the legislative program that President Truman’s Committee on Civil Rights outlined in its landmark 1947 report, To Secure These Rights.

The papers show how Mitchell persuaded President Truman to extend further the Fair Employment Practices Commission idea by issuing an executive order to enforce the nondiscrimination clause in government contracts with private industry; President Eisenhower further revised and strengthened this order. Mitchell expanded President Eisenhower’s commitment to ending discrimination in federal funding by leading the struggle to get Congress to enact laws barring such practices in aid to education and all similar programs. Mitchell ultimately won the support of both presidents in ending segregation in many government-supported facilities and throughout the armed services."
– from the Ohio University Press

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The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr., Volume V (1955–1957)

"This fifth volume in The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr. series records the successful effort to pass the 1957 Civil Rights Act: the first federal civil rights legislation since 1875.

Prior to the US Supreme Court’s landmark 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education, in which it declared that segregation was discrimination and thus unconstitutional, the NAACP had faced an impenetrable wall of opposition in Congress from southerners who maintained that there was no need for civil rights legislation because their Jim Crow system was constitutional and that they did not practice racial discrimination. When the Brown decision demolished their argument, Mitchell launched the definitive stage of the struggle for passage of the civil rights laws in the modern period.

The passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957 was the first comprehensive implementation of a lobbying campaign by an organization dedicated to that purpose since Reconstruction. On the heels of the Brown decision, the 1957 law was a turning point in the struggle to accord Black citizens full equality under the Constitution. 

The act’s passage was nearly derailed in the US Senate by southern opposition and Senator Strom Thurmond’s record-setting filibuster, which lasted over twenty-four hours. Congress later weakened several of the act’s provisions, but the act crucially broke a psychological barrier to the congressional passage of such measures."
– from the Ohio University Press

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The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr., Volume VI (1959–1960)

"The Civil Rights Act of 1960 aimed to close loopholes in its 1957 predecessor that had allowed continued voter disenfranchisement for African Americans and for Mexicans in Texas.

In early 1959, the newly seated eighty-sixth Congress had four major civil rights bills under consideration, and their eventual consolidation into the 1960 Civil Rights Act was to have corrected the weaknesses in the 1957 law. From 1959 to 1960, Mitchell’s papers show the extent to which the resistance in Congress to the passage of meaningful civil rights laws contributed to the lunch counter sit-ins in Greensboro, North Carolina, and subsequent demonstrations. They show the repercussions on the NAACP’s work in Washington and how, despite their dislike of demonstrations, NAACP officials made use of them to them to intensify the civil rights struggle.

Among the acts seven titles were provisions enabling federal inspection of local voter registration rolls and penalties for anyone attempting to interfere with voters according to race or color. The powers of the US Commission on Civil Rights were extended under the law, and the legal definition of the verb to votewas broadened to specify all elements of the process: registration, casting a ballot, and the proper counting of that ballot. 

Ultimately, Mitchell considered the 1960 act to have been unsuccessful because Congress failed to include the amendments that would have strengthened the 1957 act. In the House, representatives used parliamentary tactics to stall employment protections, school desegregation, poll-tax elimination, and other meaningful civil rights protections. The fight would continue."
– from the Ohio University Press

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