Clarence Mitchell Jr.

Clarence Mitchell Jr. was a civil rights activist and a chief lobbyist for the NAACP.

Listed in: African American Studies · History · American History · Political Science · Law · Legal History




The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr., Vol III · NAACP Labor Secretary and Director of the NAACP Washington Bureau, 1946–1950
By Clarence Mitchell Jr. · Edited by Denton L. Watson

Born in Baltimore in 1911, Clarence Mitchell Jr. led the struggle for passage of the 1957 Civil Rights Act, the 1960 Civil Rights Act, the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and the 1968 Fair Housing Act. Volumes I (1942–1943) and II (1944–1946) of The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr.,

“Clarence Mitchell, Jr., for decades waged in the halls of Congress a stubborn, resourceful and historic campaign for social justice. The integrity of this ‘101st senator’ earned him the respect of friends and adversaries alike. His brilliant advocacy helped translate into law the protests and aspirations of millions consigned for too long to second-class citizenship. The hard-won fruits of his labors have made America a better and stronger nation.”

President Jimmy Carter, Citation on the Presidential Medal of Freedom, presented June 9, 1980




The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr., Volume IV · Director of the NAACP Washington Bureau, 1951–1954
By Clarence Mitchell Jr. · Edited by Denton L. Watson

Volume IV of The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr. covers 1951, the year America entered the Korean War, through 1954, when the NAACP won its Brown v. Board of Education case, in which the Supreme Court declared that segregation was discrimination and thus unconstitutional. The decision enabled Mitchell to implement the legislative program that President Truman’s Committee on Civil Rights outlined in its landmark 1947 report, To Secure These Rights.

The Papers of Clarence Mitchell, Jr. is a primary source and analytical goldmine for scholars of civil rights and labor struggles in the twentieth-century United States… . Well organized, engagingly written, and edited with cogent commentary, these two volumes (III & IV) take us inside Mitchell’s activist office and let us hear his own words.”

The Journal of Southern History




Clarence Mitchell Jr. was the driving force in the movement for passage of civil rights laws in America. The foundation for Mitchell's struggle was laid during his tenure at the Fair Employment Practice Committee, where he led implementation of President Roosevelt's policy barring racial discrimination in employment in the national defense and war industry programs. Mitchell's FEPC reports and memoranda chart the beginning of the modern civil rights movement.




Clarence Mitchell Jr. was the driving force in the movement for passage of civil rights laws in America. The foundation for Mitchell's struggle was laid during his tenure at the Fair Employment Practice Committee, where he led implementation of President Roosevelt's policy barring racial discrimination in employment in the national defense and war industry programs. Mitchell's FEPC reports and memoranda chart the beginning of the modern civil rights movement.