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Catalog Data

Created by:
Harvard Society for Minority Rights, American, 1950 - 1959  Search this
Subject of:
Dr. Theodore R. M. Howard, American, 1908 - 1976  Search this
Rev. George W. Lee, American, 1903 - 1955  Search this
Lamar "Ditney" Smith, American, 1892 - 1955  Search this
Emmett Till, American, 1941 - 1955  Search this
Harvard University, American, founded 1636  Search this
National Medical Association, American, founded 1895  Search this
ink on paper (fiber product)
H x W: 8 5/8 x 5 5/8 in. (21.9 x 14.3 cm)
Place used:
Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States, North and Central America
February 16, 1956
This flier, from a collection of documents related to the Boston chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), provides insight into the Northern reaction to the violence against African Americans in the American South.
On August 28, 1955, 14-year-old Emmett Till was brutally lynched in Drew, Mississippi. The murder and subsequent acquittal of the perpetrators were catalysts for a new determination among African Americans in the fight for civil rights. Emmett’s mother, Mamie Till-Mobley said, "The murder of my son has shown me that what happens to any of us, anywhere in the world, had better be the business of us all!!!"
In the same year, Lamar Smith, a farmer and World War I veteran, was shot and killed on the courthouse steps of Brookhaven, Mississippi, and George W. Lee, a grocery store owner and director of the local NAACP branch, was murdered in Belzoni, Mississippi, both in retaliation for encouraging Blacks to register to vote. The violence shocked the nation and inspired new action in the Civil Rights Movement across the country.
A printed handbill advertising a "Brotherhood Rally" focusing on the topic "Mississippi and Murder" featuring T.R.M. Howard, President Regional Council of Negro Leadership of Mississippi and President of the Negro Medical Association. The rally, held February 16, 1956, was sponsored by the Harvard Society for Minority Rights and held at Harvard University.
The flier is printed in black ink on beige paper. At center is large, bold text reading "MISSISSIPPI AND MURDER." Right above is a small block of text: "On the night of May 7, the Rev. George W. Lee was shot and killed in Belzoni, Mississippi." Just below are two similar blocks of text, the first about the murder of Lamar Smith and the second about Emmett Till. At the bottom is the date, time, and location information for the event. There are no marks or inscriptions on the back.
African American  Search this
Activism  Search this
American South  Search this
Associations and institutions  Search this
Civil Rights  Search this
Education  Search this
Medicine  Search this
Professional organizations  Search this
Violence  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Object number:
Restrictions & Rights:
No known copyright restrictions
Proper usage is the responsibility of the user.
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Memorabilia and Ephemera-Advertisements
Civil Rights Movement
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture