Committee to Combat Racial Injustice Records, 1957-1965

Summary Information
Title: Committee to Combat Racial Injustice Records
Inclusive Dates: 1957-1965

  • Committee to Combat Racial Injustice
Call Number: Mss 51; Micro 824

Quantity: 0.8 c.f. (2 archives boxes) and 1 reel of microfilm (35mm)

Archival Locations:
Wisconsin Historical Society (Map)

Records of the Committee to Combat Racial Injustice, a group formed in 1958 to defend two young North Carolina black boys who were jailed for having kissed a white girl. The files of CCRI secretary George L. Weissman and chairman Robert Franklin Williams include general and fund-raising correspondence, financial records, microfilmed clippings, press releases, a few legal documents, and subject files. Prominent correspondents include Carl and Anne Braden, Roy Wilkins, C. Wright Mills, E. D. Nixon, and Alexander Meiklejohn. The subject files include material on other cases handled by CCRI before its dissolution in 1960; especially noteworthy are the files on its cooperation with the Committee to Aid the Monroe Defendants in the defense of Mae Mallory and other civil rights workers.

Language: English

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The Committee to Combat Racial Injustice was formed in New York City on December, 1958, to defend David Simpson, age 8, and Hanover Thompson, age 9, two negro boys from Monroe, N.C. who were alledged to have forced a kiss from a seven-year-old white girl. They were subsequently charged with assault on a white female and imprisoned in the state reformatory in October, 1958. The committee's main activities in their behalf were fund-raising, helping to secure legal counsel, and soliciting public and private moral support. Through such efforts, the boys were freed early in 1959.

In addition to its efforts in the “Kissing Case”, the committee labored unsuccessfully to prevent the extradition of Willie Reid from New York to Florida in 1959. Reid had escaped from a Florida chain gang where he was serving a fifteen-year sentence imposed in 1950. Prior to its dissolution in April, 1960, the committee was active in two other cases: the defense of Dr. Albert E. Perry, Monroe physician accused of performing an illegal abortion on a white woman; and the defense of Mae Mallory, Robert F. Williams, and several white freedom marchers, who were indicted for the alledged kidnapping of a white couple in Monroe.

The committee's founders included Dr. Albert E. Perry, L. E. Austin, editor of the Carolina Times, Conrad Lynn, New York attorney active in civil rights cases, Reverend C. K. Steele of Tallahassee, Florida, George Weissman and Robert F. Williams. Williams was the chairman of the committee from its inception; Weissman was its secretary. Weissman, who used the pen name of George Lavan, was active in civil liberties work for some years prior to the formation of the CCRI. He was treasurer of the Kutcher Civil Rights Committee (see Mss 52); was a member of the Socialist Workers Party; and later became director of Pathfinder Press in New York.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of the CCRI secretary's files, including correspondence, financial records, clippings, press releases, near-print material, photographs, and a few legal documents. The correspondence, mainly Weissman's and William's, includes appeals for money and support, thank you notes, and material on organizational efforts regarding the legal cases in which the committee participated. The financial records include bank records, receipts, and ledgers. Almost without exception, the remainder of the papers deal with the legal cases described above.

The papers are arranged in three series: correspondence, which is arranged chronologically; financial records; and subject files. With the exception of those materials pertaining to the committee in general, such as press releases and data on Union County, North Carolina, the file is organized by legal case. Portions are available only on microfilm.

The chief correspondents are Carl Braden, Conrad Lynn, and, of course, Weissman and Williams. The names of other members of the committee appear throughout. Included are two letters from E. D. Nixon of Montgomery, Alabama, concerning Nixon's long years of service to the civil rights movement, his selection of Martin Luther King to head the Montgomery Improvement Association, and the subsequent lack of recognition given to Nixon for his efforts.

Major Correspondents Location of Material
Carl Braden and SCEF, Inc. Box 1, Folders 1-6
Box 2, Folder 4
Anne Braden Box 1, Folder 3
Conrad Lynn Box 1, Folders 1-6
Roy Wilkins and NAACP Box 1, Folders 1-4
C. Wright Mills Box 1, Folder 4
E. D. Nixon Box 1, Folder 1
Alexander Meiklejohn Box 1, Folder 3
Maxwell Geismar Box 1, Folder 5

Administrative/Restriction Information
Acquisition Information

Presented by George L, Weissman, New York, N. Y., April 30, 1968.

Processing Information

Processed by EDR, March 16, 1970.

Contents List
Box/Folder   1/1-6
Series: Correspondence, 1958-1963
Series: Financial records
Box/Folder   1/7
Bank records, receipts, financial statements, and bills, 1958-1960
Box/Folder   1/8
Receipts and disbursement ledgers, 1958-1959
Box/Folder   1/9
Solicitation lists, undated
Series: Subject files
Box/Folder   2/1
Committee to Aid the Monroe Defendants, 1961-1964
Reel/Frame   1/1
Press releases and printed matter, 1962-64
Box/Folder   2/2
Reel/Frame   1/164
Mae Mallory, 1961-1964
Box/Folder   2/3
State vs. Crowder, Lowry, Mallory, et al., trial notes of George Weissman
Reel/Frame   1/189
Clippings, 1958-1959
“Kissing Case”
Reel/Frame   1/253
Clippings, 1958-1959
Box/Folder   2/4
Petitions, articles, statements, and memoranda, 1959
Box/Folder   2/5
Williams petition for writ of habeus corpus, 1959
Box/Folder   2/6
Notes: George Weissman and unidentified, undated
Reel/Frame   1/494
A.E. Perry: clippings, 1957-1964
Box/Folder   2/7
Press releases and circulars, 1958-1962
Box/Folder   2/8
Willie Reid case, 1959
Reel/Frame   1/523
R.F. Williams and Monroe, N.C.
Reel/Frame   1/536
Clippings, 1957-1965
Box/Folder   2/9
NAACP and Monroe kidnapping, 1959-1961