Cleveland Sellers

Mr. Cleveland Sellers

Born in 1944, Cleveland Sellers began his involvement with the Civil Rights Movement in 1960 at age 15. By 1965, he was the program director of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Sellers said, "The national Democratic party's rejection of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) at the 1964 convention was to the civil rights movement what the Civil War was to American history:  afterward, things could never be the same.” Along with his close friend and SNCC comrade, Stokely Carmichael, Sellers became an early champion of the new racial spirituality and nationalistic consciousness called Black Power, which sought black liberation from white oppression "by any means necessary." Seller's courageous, frenetic, and ultimately cataclysmic life in the Movement offers a complex narrative of an African-American student activist whose Christian faith was profoundly changed by the spirituality of black nationalism.

Quotes from interviews with this actor are listed below. To see excerpts from interview transcripts, click on the associated Excerpts link below each quote.

"…if you had an alteration with a white person who was trailing you or whatever or giving you the finger; he's not gonna do anything right then; he's gonna go home and organize and then come get you."
"We cannot sit around and talk about the beloved community."
"Black power got to moving so fast that we miscalculated the fallout. I certainly have to take some of the responsibility of that; but there was no way we anticipated the response."

Find below primary and secondary resources located in the Project on Lived Theology's Civil Rights Archive associated with this Actor. Click on a title to see the full record.

Cleveland Sellers Memo from Cleveland Sellers
Pat Kaye Mother Defends Sellers
Unknown Letter from Charlotte to C.L. (Untitled Document)
Unknown Letter from Charlotte to Cleveland Sellers (Untitled Document)
Unknown Negatives of Cleveland Sellers and Others (Untitled Document)
Unknown Says Wallace wants to work in Virginia with students (SNCC Transcript) (Untitled Document)
Unknown SNCC Results of Voting (Untitled Document)
1960 Thomas N. Carruthers Letter from Thomas N. Carruthers to Cleveland Sellers (04/05/1960)(Untitled Document)
1963 Pauline Sellers Letter from Mother to C.L. (06/08/1963)
1963 Pauline Sellers Letter from Mother to C.L. (12/09/1963) (Untitled Document)
1964 Christopher Jencks Mississippi: From Conversion to Coercion
1964 Cleveland Sellers Holly Springs Project--Letters from Cleveland Sellers to Jesse Morris and Jim Forman
1964 Pauline Sellers Letter from Mother to C.L. (11/12/1964) (Untitled Document)
1964 Unknown Letter from Barbara to Mr. Sellers (07/21/1964) (Untitled Document)
1964 Unknown Letter to C.L. (09/19/1964) (Untitled Document)
1965 Cleveland Sellers Letter from Cleve Sellers to Doug Smith (07/20/1965)
1965 Cleveland Sellers Letter from Cleveland Sellers to Alvin Packer
1965 Cleveland Sellers Letter from Cleveland Sellers to Members of the Executive Committee
1965 Cleveland Sellers Letter from Cleveland Sellers to Susie Morgan
1965 Cleveland Sellers SNCC Executive Meeting Agenda
1965 Tom Brown Program Proposal: Transition in the Church from Tom Brown to Jim Forman, Cleveland Sellers, and John Lewis
1966 Cleveland Sellers Letter from Cleveland Sellers to Central Committee Members
1966 SNCC On Black Power
1967 Evelyn Marshall Letter from Evelyn Marshall to Central Committee
1968 Howard Moore, Jr. Letter from Howard Moore, Jr. to Cleveland Louis sellers, Jr.
1968
Unknown
John Lewis
John Lewis Interview Concerning the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
1972 James Forman Chapter 55: Black Power Stirkes
1972 James Forman Kingston Springs
1972 James Forman Power for Black People
1990 Charles Marsh Notes on SNCC Archive Documents (Untitled Document)
1993 Charles Marsh John Lewis Interview Questions and Background
1993 Jack Bass Justice Finally Comes in the Orangeburg Massacre
1995
Charles Marsh
Bob Zellner
Bob Zellner Interview, 7/29/1995
1995
Charles Marsh
Cleveland Sellers
Cleveland Sellers Interview, Denmark, South Carolina, 7/29/1995
1995
Charles Marsh
Victoria Gray Adams
Victoria Gray Adams Interview, 4/6/1995
1995
Cleveland Sellers
Charles Marsh
Cleveland Sellers Interview, Denmark, South Carolina, 8/5/1995
1995 Cleveland Sellers Note from Cleveland Sellers to Charles Marsh
1997
Charles Marsh
Bob Zellner
Bob Zellner Interview, New York City, NY, 10/29/97