Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Southern Negro Youth Congress

Formed in 1937 by young leaders who met at the 1936 National Negro Congress in Chicago, the organization advocated civil rights issues in employment and voter discrimination, and made great progress educating African Americans in the rural South about their rights and strategies for protests. It met for the first time in Richmond, Virginia, in 1937, attended by 534 delegates. With a peak membership of 11,000 and the support of Mary McLeod Bethune, A. Philip Randolph and W. E. B. Du Bois, the organization helped build the civil rights movement in the 1950s in spite of intimidation by the Ku Klux Klan and opposition from the FBI.