Library of Congress Civil Rights History Project: National Survey of Collections
On May 12, 2009, the U. S. Congress authorized a national initiative by passing The Civil Rights History Project Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-19). The law directed the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African American History and Culture to conduct a national survey of existing oral history collections with relevance to the Civil Rights movement to obtain justice, freedom and equality for African Americans and to record and make widely accessible new interviews with people who participated in the struggle. From 2010 to 2013, over one hundred interviews with one hundred thirty-nine participants were recorded in high-definition video. They are now available in their entirety as full-length video streams on the Library's site. The recollections of interviewees cover a wide variety of topics about the freedom struggle, such as the influence of organized labor, nonviolence and self-defense, and the importance of faith, music, family, and friendships. Actions and events discussed in the interviews include the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (1963), the Albany Movement (1961), the Freedom Rides (1961), the Selma to Montgomery Rights March (1965), the Orangeburg Massacre (1968), local sit-ins, voter registration drives in the South, and the murder of fourteen-year old Emmett Till in 1955.