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Emilye Crosby Civil Rights Collection (AM18-05)

 Unprocessed Collection
Identifier: AM18-05


Primary and secondary research materials related to Claiborne County, Mississippi and its county seat, Port Gibson. Claiborne County was the center of a little-known but profound demonstration and struggle during the civil rights movement resulting in the United States Supreme Court Case NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Company.


  • Creation: Majority of material found in 1953-2011


Conditions Governing Access

This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical / Historical

Dr. Emilye Crosby has been a member of SUNY Geneseo's History Department since 1995 and has been the coordinator of the Black Studies/Africana program since fall 2002.

She authored "A Little Taste of Freedom: The Black Freedom Struggle in Claiborne County, Mississippi" that won the McLemore Prize and received an honorable mention for the Organization of American Historians' Liberty Legacy Prize.

From back cover of book:

In this long-term community study of the freedom movement in rural, majority-black Claiborne County, Mississippi, Emilye Crosby explores the impact of the African American freedom struggle on small communities in general and questions common assumptions that are based on the national movement. The legal successes at the national level in the mid-1960s did not end the movement, Crosby contends, but rather emboldened people across the South to initiate waves of new actions around local issues.

Escalating assertiveness and demands of African Americans--including the reality of armed self-defense--were critical to ensuring meaningful local change to a remarkably resilient system of white supremacy. In Claiborne County, a highly effective boycott eventually led the Supreme Court to affirm the legality of economic boycotts for political protest. NAACP leader Charles Evers (brother of Medgar) managed to earn seemingly contradictory support from the national NAACP, the segregationist Sovereignty Commission, and white liberals. Studying both black activists and the white opposition, Crosby employs traditional sources and more than 100 oral histories to analyze the political and economic issues in the post-movement period, the impact of the movement and the resilience of white supremacy, and the ways these issues are closely connected to competing histories of the community.

Dr. Crosby also edited "Civil Rights History from the Ground Up: Local Struggles, a National Movement". She teaches a wide range of history, general education, and interdisciplinary courses, with a particular interest in the Civil Rights Movement, African American history, and women's history. She has received numerous awards--for her teaching, scholarship, and service.


19 Cubic Feet (total) : 302A.B15.D2-D7

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Emilye Crosby

Related Materials

M502 Henry and Sue [Lorenzi] Sojourner Civil Rights Movement Collection

Separated Materials

Issues of the "Port Gibson Reveille" were removed and added to the already existing Mississippian collection.

Emilye Crosby Civil Rights Collection
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Historical Manuscripts and Photographs Repository

118 College Drive - 5148
Hattiesburg MS 39406-0001