African American Heritage

The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)

The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was founded February 1, 1960 at Shaw University in North Carolina. The committee was formed by black college students with the assistance of activist Ella Baker. Initially, SNCC followed the nonviolent teachings of Rev. James Lawson and the peaceful protest practices of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

SNCC became well-known for their idea to conduct sit-ins to desegregate lunch counters at restaurants. Along with sit-ins, the group of college students focused on promoting voter registration among their local neighborhoods. 

In 1966, Stokely Carmichael was elected chairman of the organization. His more militant and anti-white agenda went against the original mission of the Committee. After Stokley left the Committee, Hurbert “Rap” Brown became the leader of SNCC in May 1967 and further alienated whites as Brown formed an alliance between SNCC and the Black Panther Party. In July 1967, with the expulsion of white members, SNCC’s annual income decreased dramatically. In 1970, SNCC lost all 130 employees and the majority of their branches. By 1973, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee no longer existed. 

Black Power records at the National Archives related to SNCC consist of FBI records surveying branches in various locations. A court case in Montgomery, Alabama involving John Lewis is mentioned along with interviews recorded by the CIA and a motion picture.

Black Panther Party Members

Record Group 21: District Courts of the United States

Civil Cases, 1938-1968 National Archives Identifier: 2 79193

Selected Records
Hosea Williams, John Lewis, and Amelia Boynton et al. v. Honorable George C. Wallace, as Governor of the State of Alabama et al., Civil Action No. 2181-N  ( NAID 6 43802)

Record Group 65: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

Classification 157 (Civil Unrest) Case Files​

Selected Records
Please use the Find function in your browser to search for 'Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee' or 'SNCC'​

Record Group 86: The Women's Bureau

Files of the National Women’s Committee for Civil Rights, 1963-1964 National Archives Identifier: 1 634275

Selected Records
Organizations: SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) ( NAID 1749176)

Record Group 263: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

Audio Recordings of Monitored Broadcasts from Havana and Port-Au-Prince, 1968-1973 National Archives Identifier 104633

Selected Records
Havana International Service in English. Interview with Donald Stone, Member of U.S. Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee ( NAID 104655)
Havana International Service in English. Interview with U.S. Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee Member Irving Davis ( NAID 104647)

Record Group 306 - US Information Agency (USIA)

Moving Images Relating to U.S. Domestic and International Activities, 1982-1999  National Archives Identifier 46890​

Selected Records
The Time Has Come - Motion Picture ( NAID 53804)