Topic: Civil Rights Movement

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COINTELPRO

United States Human rights United States History United States/FBI Civil Rights Movement

COINTELPRO (syllabic abbreviation derived from COunter INTELligence PROgram) (1956–1971) was a series of covert and, at times, illegal projects conducted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) aimed at surveilling, infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting American political organizations. FBI records show that COINTELPRO resources targeted groups and individuals that the FBI deemed subversive, including feminist organizations, the Communist Party USA, anti–Vietnam War organizers, activists of the civil rights movement or Black Power movement (e.g. Martin Luther King Jr., the Nation of Islam, and the Black Panther Party), environmentalist and animal rights organizations, the American Indian Movement (AIM), independence movements (such as Puerto Rican independence groups like the Young Lords), and a variety of organizations that were part of the broader New Left. The program also targeted the Ku Klux Klan in 1964.

In another instance in San Diego, the FBI financed, armed, and controlled an extreme right-wing group of former members of the Minutemen anti-communist para-military organization, transforming it into a group called the Secret Army Organization that targeted groups, activists, and leaders involved in the Anti-War Movement, using both intimidation and violent acts.

The FBI has used covert operations against domestic political groups since its inception; however, covert operations under the official COINTELPRO label took place between 1956 and 1971. COINTELPRO tactics are still used to this day and have been alleged to include discrediting targets through psychological warfare; smearing individuals and groups using forged documents and by planting false reports in the media; harassment; wrongful imprisonment; and illegal violence, including assassination. The FBI's stated motivation was "protecting national security, preventing violence, and maintaining the existing social and political order".

Beginning in 1969, leaders of the Black Panther Party were targeted by the COINTELPRO and "neutralized" by being assassinated, imprisoned, publicly humiliated or falsely charged with crimes. Some of the Black Panthers affected included Fred Hampton, Mark Clark, Zayd Shakur, Geronimo Pratt, Mumia Abu-Jamal, and Marshall Conway. Common tactics used by COINTELPRO were perjury, witness harassment, witness intimidation, and withholding of evidence.

FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover issued directives governing COINTELPRO, ordering FBI agents to "expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize" the activities of these movements and especially their leaders. Under Hoover, the agent in charge of COINTELPRO was William C. Sullivan. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy personally authorized some of the programs. Although Kennedy only gave written approval for limited wiretapping of Martin Luther King's phones "on a trial basis, for a month or so", Hoover extended the clearance so his men were "unshackled" to look for evidence in any areas of King's life they deemed worthy.

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A man died yesterday. He had a huge impact on our lives. Fred Shuttlesworth.

United States Biography African diaspora United States/Ohio United States/Cincinnati Civil Rights Movement Alabama

Frederick Lee "Fred" Shuttlesworth (born Fred Lee Robinson, March 18, 1922 – October 5, 2011) was a U.S. civil rights activist who led the fight against segregation and other forms of racism as a minister in Birmingham, Alabama. He was a co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, initiated and was instrumental in the 1963 Birmingham Campaign, and continued to work against racism and for alleviation of the problems of the homeless in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he took up a pastorate in 1961. He returned to Birmingham after his retirement in 2007. He helped Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement.

The Birmingham–Shuttlesworth International Airport was named in his honor in 2008.

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Fred L. Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award is bestowed annually in his name.

The Negro Motorist Green Book

United States Books Civil Rights Movement

The Negro Motorist Green Book (also The Negro Motorist Green-Book, The Negro Travelers' Green Book, or simply the Green Book) was an annual guidebook for African-American roadtrippers. It was originated and published by African American, New York City mailman Victor Hugo Green from 1936 to 1966, during the era of Jim Crow laws, when open and often legally prescribed discrimination against African Americans especially and other non-whites was widespread. Although pervasive racial discrimination and poverty limited black car ownership, the emerging African-American middle class bought automobiles as soon as they could, but faced a variety of dangers and inconveniences along the road, from refusal of food and lodging to arbitrary arrest. In response, Green wrote his guide to services and places relatively friendly to African-Americans, eventually expanding its coverage from the New York area to much of North America, as well as founding a travel agency.

Many black Americans took to driving, in part to avoid segregation on public transportation. As the writer George Schuyler put it in 1930, "all Negroes who can do so purchase an automobile as soon as possible in order to be free of discomfort, discrimination, segregation and insult." Black Americans employed as athletes, entertainers, and salesmen also traveled frequently for work purposes.

African-American travelers faced hardships such as white-owned businesses refusing to serve them or repair their vehicles, being refused accommodation or food by white-owned hotels, and threats of physical violence and forcible expulsion from whites-only "sundown towns". Green founded and published the Green Book to avoid such problems, compiling resources "to give the Negro traveler information that will keep him from running into difficulties, embarrassments and to make his trip more enjoyable." The maker of a 2019 documentary film about the book offered this summary: "Everyone I was interviewing talked about the community that the Green Book created: a kind of parallel universe that was created by the book and this kind of secret road map that the Green Book outlined".

From a New York-focused first edition published in 1936, Green expanded the work to cover much of North America, including most of the United States and parts of Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. The Green Book became "the bible of black travel during Jim Crow", enabling black travelers to find lodgings, businesses, and gas stations that would serve them along the road. It was little known outside the African-American community. Shortly after passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed the types of racial discrimination that had made the Green Book necessary, publication ceased and it fell into obscurity. There has been a revived interest in it in the early 21st century in connection with studies of black travel during the Jim Crow era.

Four issues (1940, 1947, 1954, and 1963) have been republished in facsimile (as of December 2017), and have sold well. Twenty-three additional issues have now been digitized by the New York Public Library Digital Collections.

Fred Hampton

United States Biography Chicago African diaspora United States/FBI Civil Rights Movement Illinois Biography/Actors and Filmmakers

Fredrick Allen Hampton (August 30, 1948 – December 4, 1969) was an American activist and revolutionary socialist. He came to prominence in Chicago as chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party (BPP), and deputy chairman of the national BPP. In this capacity, he founded a prominent multicultural political organization, the Rainbow Coalition that initially included the Black Panthers, Young Patriots and the Young Lords, and an alliance among major Chicago street gangs to help them end infighting, and work for social change.

In 1967, Hampton was identified by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a radical threat. The FBI tried to subvert his activities in Chicago, sowing disinformation among these groups and placing a counterintelligence operative in the local Panthers. In December 1969, Hampton was shot and killed in his bed during a predawn raid at his Chicago apartment by a tactical unit of the Cook County State's Attorney's Office in conjunction with the Chicago Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation; during the raid, another Panther was killed and several seriously wounded. In January 1970, a coroner's jury held an inquest and ruled the deaths of Hampton and Mark Clark to be justifiable homicide.

A civil lawsuit was later filed on behalf of the survivors and the relatives of Hampton and Clark. It was resolved in 1982 by a settlement of $1.85 million; the City of Chicago, Cook County, and the federal government each paid one-third to a group of nine plaintiffs. Given revelations about the illegal COINTELPRO program and documents associated with the killings, scholars now widely consider Hampton's death an assassination under the FBI's initiative.

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The Triple Revolution

Economics Politics Futures studies Civil Rights Movement

"The Triple Revolution" was an open memorandum sent to U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson and other government figures on March 22, 1964. Drafted under the auspices of the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, it was signed by an array of noted social activists, professors, and technologists who identified themselves as the Ad Hoc Committee on the Triple Revolution. The chief initiator of the proposal was W. H. "Ping" Ferry, at that time a vice-president of CSDI, basing it in large part on the ideas of the futurist Robert Theobald.

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