Project Reviews

Civil Rights Movement Veterans
Created by Civil Rights Movement Veterans and maintained by Westwind Writers Inc.

The Civil Rights Movement Veterans website was created by and is maintained by veterans of organizations like SNCC and CORE. It is designed to be a site about the Movement "by those who actually lived it."

The website contains a "Table of Contents" page with a one-sentence description of the numerous links contained on the main page. There are over 20 links provided from the main page; I will focus on the most important features of the site.

First, one of the greatest aspects of this site is the "Veterans Roll Call" which contains a list of 367 individuals who worked in the Freedom Movement. Individuals who worked in the Movement provide their own information including an explanation of what they did in the movement ranging from one sentence to one paragraph and contact information ranging from an email address to a full physical address and phone number. Each person's contact information includes the date it was last updated so researchers can know if the information is current.

Second, the website also contains an excellent collection of photographs although one must look through all the photographs to find what he or she is looking for. The photographs are divided into groups, although the guiding principle of the divisions and what is contained within is difficult to ascertain. With sections titled "Down to the Grassroots" and "Into the Storm" one gets little to no sense of what pictures with be contained therein.

Third, the website contains plenty of information on the Movement including a timeline, descriptions of different areas and aspects of the Movement, and interviews with activists. Unfortunately, the timeframe of the website is limited. The section on "The Southern Freedom Movement" only covers the years from 1960-1966. It does not give viewers a sense of the precursors or consequences of the Movement. Moreover, the website maintains an exclusive focus on the Movement in the South. Also, the timeline provides little information on Black Power and the information that is given is not contextualized or followed to its conclusion (the timeline ends at 1968). The website does, however, offer great information on the role of grassroots and local activity as well as the importance of women in the Movement.

Fourth, the website provides an extensive, almost exhaustive bibliography. It includes book listings alphabetically by title and grouped by subject. Beyond that, the website offers a bibliography of websites about the Civil Rights Movement which is organized by topic.

In terms of design, once you get three levels deep into the website, there are no longer any subdirectory navigation or main directory navigation links. There is no uniformity in the design of the website. The organization of the website definitely needs to be improved. It would also be helpful if the site's authors wrote explanations of what is contained in each subdirectory and on each page. Aside from these flaws, the website is an excellent resource for any historian interested in the Civil Rights Movement.

Jared Leighton
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Reviewed: Spring 2007