White Resistance

Sites and documents relating to the white backlash against the struggle for black freedom

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Southern Manifesto on Integration (March 12, 1956)
Southern Manifesto on Integration (March 12, 1956)
Much of the Southern wing of the Democratic Party signed this repudiation of the Supreme Court and the Brown decision in 1956. The manifesto sets out a critique and a call for resistance. This site contains both the text and the list of signatories which, notably did not include the then Senate majority leader, Lyndon B. Johnson.
The Citizens' Council - Online newspaper archive
The Citizens' Council - Online newspaper archive
If you want to understand the mindset of segregationists during the 1950s, this digitised print run of this Mississippi-based paper aiming to appeal to more respectable members of the community (less respectable members might join the KKK which was no longer the mass membership concern it had been in the 1920s). Covers 1955-58 with a searchable database and a useful bibliography
See it Now: Race & School Desegregation in Clinton, Tenessee (1957)
See it Now: Race & School Desegregation in Clinton, Tenessee (1957)
This edition of Ed Murrow's classic TV news programme offers a 50-minute exploration of the explosive impact of school desegregation and those who resisted it.
George Wallace, Gubernatorial Inaugural Address (Jan 14th 1963)
George Wallace, Gubernatorial Inaugural Address (Jan 14th 1963)
The full text of Wallace's famous segregationist speech on being appointed Governor of Alabama. A useful example of how white resistance to desegregation was articulated by one of its most effective populist leaders.
George Wallace, "Schoolhouse Door Speech" (June 11th 1963)
George Wallace, "Schoolhouse Door Speech" (June 11th 1963)
Wallace delivered this statement as part of his symbolic/actual attempt to resist the integration of the University of Alabama in 1963. His actions and the speech were followed later that day by President Kennedy's address to the nation on civil rights. How does Wallace justify his actions?
University of Mississippi: Citizens' Councils Digital Collection
University of Mississippi: Citizens' Councils Digital Collection
Over 300 scanned images and documents providing an insight into the politics and culture of resistance to integration in the state.
George Wallace, “Segregation Now, Segregation Forever" (14/1/63)
George Wallace, “Segregation Now, Segregation Forever" (14/1/63)
By 1963 Alabama Governor George Corley Wallace had emerged as the leading opponent to the growing civil rights movement. Six months later he gained international notoriety for his stand in the door of the University of Alabama to block the entrance of two black students, Vivian Malone and James Hood, who had been order admitted by a federal judge. Between 1964 and 1976 Wallace ran for President four times (three as a Democrat and once as an Independent) exploiting what he believed was a deep-seated aversion to racial integration among Northerners as well as Southerners. Long before these events, he would at his inauguration as Governor on January 14, 1963, lay out his opposition to integration and the civil rights movement. His excerpted speech appears here.
Orval E. Faubus, “Speech on School Integration” (18/9/58)
Orval E. Faubus, “Speech on School Integration” (18/9/58)
In September 1957 Arkansas Governor Orval E. Faubus became the national symbol of racial segregation when he used Arkansas National Guardsmen to block the enrollment of nine black students who had been ordered by a federal judge to desegregate Little Rock's Central High School. His action created a national crisis with President Dwight D. Eisenhower finally ordering federal troops to Little Rock to ensure the judge's order was obeyed, to protect the black students, and maintain order for the remainder of the school year. In this speech given the following year, Faubus defends his actions and calls for continued resistance to racial integration and what he calls an all-powerful, intrusive federal government.
Senator James Eastland interview, (28th July 1957)
Senator James Eastland interview, (28th July 1957)
Eastland was a Senator for Mississippi and a prominent voice presenting the views of the white South to the rest of the country. As chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee he held an advantageous position for blocking civil rights reform. This interview with Mike Wallace provides a good example of the public face of the argument for segregation.