African American Heritage

The Deacons for Defense and Justice

The Deacons for Defense and Justice was founded in 1964 in Jonesboro, Louisiana to protect civil rights activists from the Ku Klux Klan. The organization was made up of black veterans from World War II, who believed in armed self-defense. About twenty chapters were created throughout Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.

The Deacons for Defense provided protection for people participating in protest marches in Mississippi in 1966, including the March Against Fear. Many of the records at the National Archives involving the Deacons for Defense are from the FBI Case Files on Civil Unrest.


Search the Catalog for Records on the Deacons for Defense