Series 7
Department of Direct Action records, 1965-2005
Boxes 382 - 474 and 918

Historical Note

Direct action is the strategic use of immediately effective acts such as strikes, demonstrations (marches and rallies), and boycotts to achieve a political or social objective. It is the primary method employed by SCLC to protest discrimination and other forms of social injustice. This department oversaw the planning of direct action programs and events for SCLC from the 1980s through the 2000s, during which time it was led by Reverend Fred Taylor. Taylor began working for SCLC in 1969 as a staff member in the Department of Chapters and Affiliates. In 1971 he became Office Manager for the organization, a position he held for two years. In 1973 he was promoted to Director of Chapters and Affiliates, where he served until becoming Director of Direct Action in 1984.

Scope and Content Note

The series consists of the records of the Department of Direct Action and other direct action efforts of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, including correspondence, memoranda, meeting minutes and agendas, appointment calendars, event and project planning files, and subject files. The records primarily document the work of Reverend Fred Taylor, a long-time employee of the organization and Director of Direct Action from 1984 to at least 2005. This series contains planning files for many direct action efforts, including anniversary marches commemorating the Selma to Montgomery March and the March on Washington. Also present are planning files for other marches and demonstrations, including the Pilgrimage to Washington for Voting Rights, Peace, Economic Justice in 1982, the March from Pickens County to Montgomery, Alabama in Support of Maggie Bozeman and Julia Wilder in 1982, which immediately preceded the Pilgrimage to Washington, and the March for Sisterhood and Brotherhood and Against Fear and Intimidation in Forsyth County, Georgia in 1987, which was a protest of discrimination in the county.

Any personal documents of Taylor's or records relating to the general administration of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference between 1969 and 1984 are contained in this series. This includes documentation of Taylor's involvement as a volunteer or board member of other organizations such as Amnesty International, National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, Southern Organizing Committee for Economic and Social Justice, and the YMCA of Metropolitan Atlanta. Records created by Fred Taylor specifically relating to the Department of Chapters and Affiliates or Office Manager can be found in Series 5 and Series 12 respectively.

Arrangement Note

Organized into two subseries: (7.1) Department of Direct Action correspondence, (7.2) Department of Direct Action office files.

Description of Subseries