International Wave at the Surveillance Cameras Day

Takoma Park Library

International Wave at the Surveillance Cameras Day

The Federal Surveillance of African Americans 1920-1984 (Gale)

International Wave at the Surveillance Cameras Day is August 16 and Takoma Park Library is spotlighting one of the GALE databases of online research, the Federal Surveillance of African Americans 1920-1984 (Gale). This is a collection of documents that have been unsealed by the United States Government detailing the surveillance of prominent Black Americans for decades. 

Overview (courtesy of The Federal Surveillance of African Americans 1920-1984 (Gale))

Throughout the twentieth century Black Americans of all political persuasions were subject to federal scrutiny, harassment, and prosecution. The Federal Bureau of Investigation enlisted black "confidential special informants" to infiltrate a variety of organizations. Hundreds of documents in this collection were created by such operatives. The reports provide a wealth of detail on "Negro" radicals and their organizations. In addition to infiltration, the FBI contributed to the infringement of First Amendment freedoms by making its agents a constant visible presence at radical rallies and meetings. This archive is based on original microfilm. 

You can search over 88,000 images dealing with the Justice Department's and its Federal Bureau of Investigation's widespread investigation of those deemed politically suspect. The collection covers Malcom X, Thurgood Marshall, Black Panthers and many others. 

The Federal Surveillance of African Americans 1920-1984 (Gale) is a free digital database of online research offered on dclibrary.org under All Digital Resources.