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By Any Means Necessary?

Questioning Ideas of Militancy in the Civil Rights Struggle


The debate between militant and peaceful approaches to protest has been, and remains to be, a controversial one. How far is too far? What is 'necessary'? This seminar looked at the Civil Rights struggle in American, focusing on the actions of Malcolm X and the Black Panthers to examine the effects of militant resistance.

The event began with a lecture by Abi Awojobi:

Read more about the views and issues expressed in the seminar on the MRC blog.

We have listed some relevant source material on the topic militancy and the civil rights struggle. All of these sources are available for use at the Modern Records Centre. We encourage you to come into the centre and examine the material for yourself.

National Guardian

  • MSS.15X/1/190/8 - vol.8, Oct 1955-Oct 1956 (civil rights, Jim Crow and racist violence, including the bus boycott and trial of Martin Luther King in Montgomery, Alabama)
  • MSS.15X/1/190/11 - vol.11, Oct 1958-Oct 1959 civil rights, Jim Crow and racist violence
  • MSS.15X/1/190/17 - vol.17, Oct 1964-Oct 1965 civil rights and racist violence (including murders in Mississippi, the murder of Malcolm X, and attack on Selma to Montgomery march led by Martin Luther King)
  • MSS.15X/1/190/20 - vol.20, Dec 1967-Jul 1968 the civil rights movement and Black Power (including the Black Panthers, and the murder of Martin Luther King)


  • MSS.15X/1/235/4 - vol.27, nos.1-12 Subjects include: the civil rights movement and racial discrimination. Also includes: Martin Luther King junior, 'Tears of love' (Jul 1963).
  • MSS.15X/1/235/5 - vol.28, nos.1-12 Includes: James A. Wechsler, 'The cult of Malcolm X' (Jun 1964)

The American Socialist

  • MSS.15X/1/10/3 - vol.3 Includes articles on civil liberties, civil rights / "Negro and minority groups" (including special report on the Alabama bus boycott in April issue)


  • MSS.15X/1/283/3 - vol.3, nos.5-12. Subjects include: race, the civil rights movement and student protest in the USA.


  • 601/D/3/5/14 Andrea Enisuoh, 'The life and legacy of Malcolm X'
  • 601/C/3/1/2 Various documents on racism; facism; black workers; 'discrimination and struggle'. Includes editions of 'Panther' and 'Militant'
  • 758/1/3/5/29 'Anarchy', no.67 Includes articles on: 'Black anarchy in New York', American society, and Malcolm X.

For a wider selection of sources view our ready-made catalogue search 'Race, segregation and civil rights in the USA'