Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith Race Relations Work records, 1946-1982 | Amistad Research Center
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B'nai B'rith Race Relations Work records provide documentation of the organization's work in human and race relations. The ADL was founded in 1913 "to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all." Although the organization was founded to primarily combat anti-Semitism, it grew defend the civil rights of all people and to promote relations between groups. The records in this collection contain correspondence, research data, unpublished and published reports of the ADL and of other organizations, and other collected items about Afro-Americans, Hispanics, white Americans, and Jewish Americans and the relations among them. Records include documentation of the formulation of ADL programs, principally education based on scholarly research and publications. The collection also contains correspondence from ADL representatives active during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, providing firsthand accounts of conditions in the South at that time. Amistad's manuscript holdings are complemented by a large run of the periodical ADL Bulletin.
The records of the Anti-Defamation League comprise approximately 10 linear feet. The bulk of the collection is made up of reports, pamphlets, and other publications of the ADL, as well as reports the ADL collected from other organizations. The correspondence comprises approximately 0.4 linear feet.
The correspondence consists primarily of intramural letters and memoranda. Most of the letters are communications between Oscar Cohen, who served as Program Director of the ADL during the majority of the period the collection covers, and the various people who maintained the ADL's regional offices. Other prominent ADL correspondents include A.I. Botnick, head of the South Central office in New Orleans; Betty Cantor, education director of Atlanta's southeastern office; Benjamin Epstein, National Director of the ADL; Murray Friedman; Irwin Schulman; and Arthur Spiegel. Prominent non-ADL correspondents include Julian Bond, Lew L. Callaway Jr., Hodding Carter III, Leslie W. Dunbar, James Forman, Frank P. Graham, Floyd McKissick, Henry Lee Moon, and Louis H. Pollack.
Reports produced by the ADL demonstrate its efforts to promote brotherhood through education and understanding. The reports included in this collection cover a range of topics, including anti-Semitism, the Black Power Movement, desegregation, and the radical right in the United States. The joint memoranda of the ADL and the American Jewish Committee are a valuable source of information on desegregation, anti-Semitism, and economic issues important to race relations.
The serial publications of the ADL, including The Facts, Law & Law Notes, and Research & Evaluation Reports, are devoted to increasing public awareness of the events and issues involved in the civil rights movement and in race relations in general. The ADL's widely distributed pamphlets served to disseminate information, but often included children's stories, reprints of important speeches, and history lessons. As part of its educational efforts, the ADL also reprinted articles form leading American periodicals, such as the New York Times, Newsweek, McCall's, and Reader's Digest.
The ADL records also contain collected reports produced by various organizations. Among the more prominent institutions represented in this collection are the United States Government, the University of Maryland Cultural Study Center, Tuskegee Institute, and the University of California.