Welcome to the Archive

During this extraordinary period in American History, the Civil Rights Movement, white conservatives, civil rights activists, black militants, black moderates and Klansmen all staked their particular claims for racial justice and social order on the premise that God was on their side. This digital resource in lived theology provides access to personal interviews with participants in and against the civil rights movement in addition to a wealth of bibliographic entries of documentary evidence from the time period that can be accessed in the Project on Lived Theology’s paper archive. This cohesive body of information demonstrates the struggles of peacemaking, community building, and lived theology during a pivotal moment in history.

To browse excerpts of interview data click on the tab "In Their Own Words" after choosing an entry from within one of the following categories:

In search of downloadable primary documents?
  • For all available downloadable documents, click on Documents and sort the document list by clicking on "File" twice
  • For all available full-length interviews, click on Interviews
  • For our Ed King collection, click on Documents and type "Ed King" into the "Creator" search box and hit "apply"
  • For our Freedom Now collection, click on Documents and type "Freedom Now" into the "Keyword" search box and hit "apply"
To search through over 1,000 documents, available for viewing in our paper archive located within the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia click on the following finding guides:
Click below for a more detailed site instructions, click on General Overview

This Month in Civil Rights

MayIn May of 1961, a mixed group of civil rights activists boarded two buses in Washington, D.C. in order to "test" enforcement of a recent Supreme Court decision outlawing segregation in bus terminals.  Their destination was New Orleans, where they would celebrate the seventh anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in Brown vs. Board of Education.  At various bus terminals, the black "Freedom Riders" would go to the white dining areas and waiting rooms while the white "Freedom Riders" would go to the area reserved for blacks.  Over the course of the journey, the Freedom Riders and sympathizers (including a representative of the Justice Department dispatched by Attorney General Robert Kennedy) were beaten at an Alabama bus terminal and one of their buses was firebombed.