The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr.

and of the NAACP Washington Bureau 1942 - 1978




Lion in the Lobby
Volumes I&II
Volume III
Volume IV
Volume V

Tables of Contents

Volumes I&II
Volume III
Volume IV
Volume V


Sample Documents I
Sample Documents II
Sample Documents III
Sample Docs III Cont..

Sample Documents IV

Sample Documents V


Mitchell A Profile
Project Scope
Mitchell's Reports


Prof. Denton L. Watson

About Prof. Watson
About Us
Contact Us


                 Mitchellís Reports

A very unique and important feature of Mitchellís reports is that they document the contributions of eight presidents to the establishment of a national nondiscrimination policy. Volumes I and II document how African Americans pushed President Roosevelt to establish the nationís first nondiscrimination policy, thus laying the foundation for the contributions of subsequent presidents to the struggle for passage of the civil rights laws. Mitchell did not lobby the Roosevelt administration, but he did so with the seven subsequent presidents, from Truman to Carter. His reports, therefore, provide the foundation for assessing the contributions to civil rights of not only eight modern presidents, but also the roles of their justice departments and principal policy makers in the civil rights struggle.
Equally important is that his reports document the role of Congress in the modern civil rights movement during eight administrations. They also document the extent of support provided by several other organizations to the legislative struggle, especially through the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the coalition of civil rights, labor, civic, religious, and fraternal groups that Walter White, executive secretary of the NAACP, created in 1952.

The reports provide an intimate study of how the southerners, with the support of Midwest Republicans, in session, after session used the filibuster and the rules of Congress to block passage of civil rights laws. They provide a revealing view of the process of government, and the legislative phase of the civil rights struggle from the national level. They document that much more than grassroots demonstrations and nonviolent protests were required to move the Legislative and Executive Branches to achieve the modern civil rights revolution through passage of the related laws and the adoption of constructive national policies. Mitchell regarded getting all three branches of government to work together for the protection of civil rights as his major contribution to the struggle.  

Both the FEPC and NAACP reports are relatively cryptic. Because, as associate director of field operations, Mitchell played a leading role in implementing Rooseveltís nondiscrimination policy, his FEPC reports provide the most comprehensive record of this struggle. The NAACP reports provide only the most essential information on the activities for which Mitchell was seeking support from the NAACP national staff, its board of directors and branch leaders, and to mobilize them in a powerful political machine. For every mention, however, there was a written cross reference, which oftentimes was very extensive. The NAACP reports, furthermore, are only one category of his papers. The others, which are used in the annotation, introduction and head notes are his (2) memoranda, (3) letters and telegrams, (4) speeches; (5) congressional statements and testimonies, and (6) newspaper columns and scholarly articles. The published reports thus provide a comprehensive view of the scope of Mitchellís contributions to the modern civil rights movement. The published reports are considerably enhanced by extensive appendixes, which were composed related studies and other types of documents, such as his newsletters, directly related to his work.

President Johnson and 101st Senator


Video Taped Interviews



NAACP Testimonies

1916 - 1949
1950 - 1954
1955 - 1957
1958 - 1960



"I suggest that Ten Thousand Negroes march on Washington, D.C. with the slogan ..." A. Philip Randolph, Father of the modern civil rights movement

Randolph's Page

    Randolph with Eleanor Roosevelt