At this critical juncture of race relations in the U.S., with tragic events in Baltimore, Ferguson, and New York City, it is imperative to take a step back, critically examine, and learn from the struggles for racial equality in the 1950s and 1960s. The Civil Rights Digital Library (CRDL) is an online collection of unedited news and television archives, primary sources, and other educational materials from various libraries and museums. CRDL is spearheaded by the University of Georgia through a National Leadership Grant for Libraries by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
The digital archive has over 30 hours of unedited historic news film coverage. The archive covers both national figures and local leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. It is also equipped with an initiative and special website for teachers called Freedom on Film. This teaching resource is not yet made public as students and scholars from the University of Georgia and other institutions are finalizing the curriculum. Further, the video archive includes footage from many key civil rights events throughout the country including events such as the Desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas (1957), the Freedom Rides (1961), and the Birmingham demonstrations (1963).
Using the CRDL, a new generation of activists can learn from the many successes and mistakes of the Civil Rights Movement. The CRDL can inform the current social movement that is brewing in cities across the United States with the hope of bringing equality and justice to every American.