Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Thurmond, Strom (1902–2003)

Serving 48 years as a senator from South Carolina, Thurmond was a powerful and controversial politician throughout the twentieth century. He is known for conducting the longest filibuster on record against the passage of the 1957 Civil Rights Act. He switched parties in 1964 to the Republicans in opposition to civil rights legislation. He wrote the Southern Manifesto after Brown v. Board of Education (1954) that described southern resistance to desegregation. In his later years, he supported legislation to establish MLK Day, and served as president pro tempore of the Senate.