Item Details

Interview With E. Frederic Morrow

Elwood, William A
Online; Online Video; Video
2006; 1985-08-09
Part one. Former White House executive and civil rights attorney Frederic Morrow contends that World War II triggered increased interest in civil rights among African Americans because they were defending a way of life that they could not enjoy. Mr. Morrow recalls his 1957 trip to Africa with Vice President Richard Nixon; he remembers African nations appointing white ambassadors to the United States because African Americans were discriminated against in the US State Department. Mr. Morrow says that President Eisenhower was a decent man, but his philosophy on race was incorrect. Mr. Morrow reviews his childhood in New Jersey, what it was like in the military during World War II, and his position as the first African American in history to be on the President's staff at the White House. Part two. Mr. Morrow tells how he became the first African American executive in the White House in the 1950s. He had to struggle and jump through many hoops to get a position there. Many top White House staffers said they would walk out if Mr. Morrow served with them. Part three. Mr. Morrow says that the civil rights struggle continues, especially on the economic side and with education. He declares, "We don't need new laws, we don't need new principles, we just have to live by them and do our duty.” Part four. Mr. Morrow recalls knowing Charles Hamilton Houston during the 1930s when he worked with NAACP. He believes that Houston was the foundation of the civil rights struggle. Mr. Morrow recounts his work as an NAACP field reporter. Part five. Mr. Morrow wrote a book called '40 Years a Guinea Pig'. He recalls civil rights supporters being critical of him because they thought he wasn't loudly advocating for civil rights while he worked at the White House. He acknowledges that he was asked to be the head of the Bank of America because their branches were being burned, and they needed an African American face to smooth things over. Mr. Morrow talks about his childhood and his grandfather, who was a slave. Part six. Mr. Morrow tells the remarkable story of how he got into Bowdoin College. He offers a message to young people.
Elwood, William A
Morrow, E. Frederic 1909-1994
Digitized by: Cincinnati, Ohio : The PPS Group, 2006.
Source footage for the documentary, The road to Brown : the untold story of “the man who killed Jim Crow” (California Newsreel, 1990), about the life of Charles Hamilton Houston, his crusade for civil rights, and the events that led to Brown v. the Board of Education, the 1954 Supreme Court decision that declared the doctrine of separate but equal to be illegal.
Title supplied by cataloger.
Recorded at Washington DC.
William A. Elwood Civil Rights Lawyers Project
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Road to Brown : the untold story of "the man who killed Jim Crow."
William A. Elwood Civil Rights Lawyers Project
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Part six of six.