Eleanor Roosevelt’s Battle to End Lynching

Forward with Roosevelt

by Paul M. Sparrow, Director

As we celebrate Black History Month, it is a good time to explore one of Eleanor Roosevelt’s most outspoken campaigns, and one of her greatest disappointments. Throughout American history issues of race and civil rights have challenged our most precious core principal – that all people are created equal. During the first half of the 20th century, racial segregation and discrimination were the law in many states. The notorious Jim Crow laws in the South prevented African Americans from getting a decent education, from owning businesses and even from voting. Mrs. Roosevelt spoke out against all of these injustices.

The Democratic Party controlled most of the South, and many Southern Democrats held powerful senior positions in the House and Senate. Their intransigence prevented President Franklin Roosevelt from instituting wide ranging civil rights legislation. That opposition did not stop Eleanor Roosevelt, who strongly supported civil…

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