Institute on Race Relations Records

Object Details

Scope and Contents
The Institute on Race Relations records measure .03 linear feet and date from circa 1943 to 1951. The records contains clippings, correspondence, fliers, newsletters and pamphlets relating to or issued by the Institute on Race Relations. Some of the material was published in African-American newspapers, including the Washington Afro and the Washington Star.
Biographical / Historical
The Institute on Race relations existed from 1943-1951 in Washington, DC. It was created as a means to circumvent the rising tide of segregation and discrimination in America. Attacking discriminatory practices and Jim Crowism, members of the Institute advocated for education and non-violent demonstrations that incorporated interracial relationships in order to foster greater economic and political achievement in the United States. Led by Tomlinson Todd, acting director of the Institute and creator of "Americans All" radio program, the Institute remained one of the most profound advocacy organization for change in 20th century America. President-elect Tomlinson Todd fervently took up the cause of non-violent action by persuading members of the importance of education reform and on utilizing political empowerment strategies. Through the creation of his "Americans All" radio program, which aired in DC from 1946-1962, Todd had been able to foster a dialogue between people from various backgrounds and initiate the discussion concerning segregation and racial discrimination in America. By informing members on the significance of the theory of complete integration, he sought to shed light on the success of non-violent action, and to convince the American public of its importance in the fight against racial subordination. The Institute on Race Relations also focused on the equal treatment of African American soldiers in the U.S military. In locating areas where Black soldiers had been denied access, the Institute became a spokesperson for shedding light on their heroic deeds, and highlighted their contributions to the war effort. Fighting for the rights of the underprivileged until his death in 1987, Tomlinson Todd became known as a civil rights agitator, and one of the great proponents of non-violent direct action. Mr. Todd was credited for discovering the lost laws of 1872 which had forbidden restaurants and entertainment industries from serving African Americans after the Civil War. In bringing these laws to the attention of the Corporation Counsel's office, Tomlinson Todd was able to reverse the practice, and to make discrimination against African Americans in public places a federal offense. His efforts led to the desegregation of restaurants that began to take place in the 1950s. Tomlinson Todd, who suffered a heart attack in D.C. at the age of 76, was survived by no children.
circa 1943-1951
0.03 Linear feet ((1 box))
This material was donated to the Anacostia Community Museum on June 11,1990 by Henry P. Whitehead.
The Institute on Race Relations records are the physical property of the Anacostia Community Museum. Literary and copyright belong to the author/creator or their legal heirs and assigns. Rights to work produced during the normal course of Museum business resides with the Anacostia Community Museum. For further information, and to obtain permission to publish or reproduce, contact the Museum Archives.
Institute on Race Relations records, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Henry P. Whitehead.
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Fliers (printed matter)
Civil rights movements -- United States
Race relations -- Washington (D.C.)
Americans All Radio Program Envelope
Finding aid
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