Online Collection
  • Media File

Southern Christian Leadership Conference Handbook for Freedom Army Recruits

Object Number: 1995.012.2399
Category: Books
Type of Object: Booklet
Date: 1964
Dimensions: 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 in. (21.6 x 14 cm)
Medium: Paper
Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) Handbook for Freedom Army Recruits. This 14 page booklet explains the rules and recruitment procedures for the Freedom Army, a group dedicated to the civil rights of African Americans in the south. The back page includes pledge cards for joining. The first page has a message from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Interior contents include a dedication, "Hints for a More Profitable Stay in Jail," "Our Weapon," "Code of Discipline," "Jail," "Our Objectives," "Rules for Prison," "Clothing & Equipment to Bring With You When You Report For Duty," "Suggested Reading," and "Freedom Songs".

This booklet has a red handwritten note at the top: "Racial." The booklet comes from the collection of Major General Edwin Walker, who was a prolific collector of materials related to current events in the 1960s.
Curator's Notes

The Museum uses this handbook regularly in educational programming about the Civil Rights Movement. It is ironic that this handbook, which is now used as a teaching tool, was donated to the Museum as part of the papers of the personal assistant to conservative activist Major General Edwin Walker. Walker, who kept detailed files on social rights activists and what he considered to be subversive organizations, thought of materials such as this SCLC handbook as "propaganda." - Stephen Fagin, Curator 

All requests for permission to reproduce, publish or broadcast materials in this collection must be submitted to the Museum's registrar, using the Rights & Reproductions Request Form. Inquiries may be sent to