Assistant Editor

SUNY College at Oldwestbury

United States

Documentary Editor Job Vacancy


Project Description: The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr. Project, a nine-volume historical documentary edition, is seeking an assistant editor to continue work on completing in print and digitally the final three volumes. The project is publishing the weekly, monthly and annual reports Mitchell prepared, first as associate director of field administration at the Fair Employment Practice Committee from 1942 to 1946, a period during the war that marked the beginning of the modern civil rights movement, and subsequently as a staff member of the NAACP. Here Mitchell was labor secretary, working out of the newly created NAACP Washington Bureau until 1950, when he became its director. That year he assumed leadership of the NAACP struggle in Congress for passage of civil rights laws. His reports, one of six categories of his papers, document the struggles by African Americans for presidential leadership for laws to end racial segregation and discrimination, initially in the defense industry, and subsequently throughout society. Then, the struggle in Congress was waged within the limitations of the “separate but equal doctrine.” Following the Supreme Court’s decision in 1954 that declared that segregation was unconstitutional because it was discrimination, Mitchell launched the struggle for Congress to pass laws to enforce the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision. He was to the NAACP’s legislative struggle what Thurgood Marshall was to the NAACP’s legal struggle, the defining and inspirational strategist and leader whose mission was to uphold and implement the constitutional protections for citizenship rights of African Americans.

The NAACP Washington Bureau archive is the only source that documents how Mitchell devised, strategized, and led the struggle for passage of the 1957 Civil Rights Act, the 1960 Civil Rights Act, the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the 1968 Fair Housing Act, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972, and for presidential leadership to protect all other forms of constitutional rights of African Americans. The nature of this struggle Mitchell led earned him popular recognition as the “101st senator.” (See the project web site

Candidates for assistant editor must have the interest and ability for assessing and making historically relevant Mitchell’s generally cryptic reports and other categories of his papers. This is done by the ability to not only work with the content of the archive itself, but also by enhancing this source with broader historical records (print and electronic) from other NAACP primary sources, such as newspapers and magazines (Crisis, e.g.), recorded interviews, collections from presidential and university libraries, as well as scholarly articles and books.
Specific job functions are conducting basic scholarly historical research; preparing the Biographical and Congressional Directories; a subject and name index; the bibliography; drafting annotation, and working through the NAACP General and Washington Bureau collections at the Library of Congress.

Candidates must have an extended involvement in History, or Political Science, or a background in Law, or historical documentary editing.

The project is sponsored by SUNY Old Westbury and funded primarily by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). The salary -- $64,000 annually; -- 37.5 hours work week; 4 weeks annual vacation.

Send letter of interest and CV with references to:

The Papers of Clarence Mitchell, Jr.
SUNY College at Old Westbury, CC E215
PO Box 210, 223 Store Hill Road,
Old Westbury, NY 11568
Phone: 516-459-9248
Fax: (516) 876-2887

In your application, please refer to


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