• Civil Rights Leader Extols Progress Of N.A.A.C.P. In Passing Anti-Lynching Laws

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    Offering a one-page, May 14, 1937, letter from Civil Rights activist Ramon Scruggs to Leon Campbell of Detroit, MI, seeking to involve Fisk University alumni in an NAACP Annual Campaign.  The letter contains dynamic content about the Civil Rights movement, the suffering of African Americans and the effective work of the N.A.A.C.P. in its efforts to pass anti-lynching laws.

    “...Far too much water has gone under the bridge without the many Fiskites in Detroit cementing themselves together in some bonds of common interest...I have talked with Mr. Carney, our President of the Detroit Fisk Club and we are asking all Fiskites to get together on the program of which I am about to tell you.

    “...The Detroit Branch of the N.A.A.C.P. is planning to bring the National Convention here this Summer. The local branch...is on the threshold of its Annual Membership Campaign. It is my desire and that of Mr. Carney that Fiskites as a group, take a significant place in this movement which has so much of value to Negroes all over this country. It is needless for me to go into the many accomplishments of the N.A.A.C.P. from its persistent fight for a Federal Anti-Lynching Bill down to its various and sundry battles to secure a rightful share of the American democracy for Negroes...The N.A.A.C.P. needs every bit of interest, morale and financial assistance which you can possibly give. I am, therefore, asking that you give your N.A.A.C.P. membership to me or to Mr. Carney in order that we may turn in an appreciable amount as as a Fisk Club in the coming N.A.A.C.P. Campaign which begins May 23rd. I am likewise asking that if possible, you secure N.A.A.C.P. memberships from those with whom you come in contact and turn them in with the Fisk Club. If we can get together on this project, we shall look eagerly forward to a new era of usefulness for the Detroit Fisk Club...”

    RAMON S. SCRUGGS was an influential Civil Rights figure in the American business community dating back to the 1930s.  He began his career at the Rumford Baking Company as a National Sales Representative in 1932, the first African American to hold such a prominent position in the food industry. He left the company to join the Detroit Urban League and the local YMCA branch. In 1939, Scruggs became the first African American white-collar employee at Michigan Bell and he continued to integrate higher levels of management at the telephone company.  

    His pioneering successes brought him national attention and he traveled the country speaking on behalf of African-American professionals. He was also politically involved and campaigned for both Hubert Humphrey and Richard Nixon.  Scruggs served on the board of Fisk University and the NAACP Special Contribution Fund. Fisk University is historically a Black university and is regarded as the oldest institution of higher learning in Nashville, Tennessee.

    Scruggs papers are housed at Wayne State University, Walter P. Reuther Library, in Detroit.

    Folds, light toning.

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