Skip to main content

Tom and Janet Canterbury Papers

Identifier: UP000635

Scope and Content

The papers of Tom and Janet Canterbury reflect the activities of SNCC in building the LCFO and in regis tering voters in other Southern states, and the Committee's relations with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Important subjects covered in this collection are: Julian Bond Southern Christian Leadership Conference Martin Luther King, Jr. Stokely Carmichael Lowndes County Freedom Organization Vietnam War Poll Taxes Women in the Civil Rights Movement

Series Description: Series I, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, 1963-1966: Reports, maps, cartoons, leaflets and press releases collected by Tom and Janet Canterbury concerning the Southern voter registration drives organized by SNCC in the 1960s. Most of the material is SNCC internal documents or leaflets; there are also a few pamphlets and leaflets from other civil rights organizations.


  • 1963 - 1966


Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.


Collection is open for research.


Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.


Tom and Janet Canterbury were active in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in Lowndes County, Alabama, in the mid-1960s.

SNCC was organized in Raleigh, North Carolina, in April of 1960 at a conference sponsored by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. It registered voters, staged picketing and sit-ins against segregated facilities, and organized blacks and whites into the movement for civil rights in the Southern states in the 1960s. SNCC also started "Friends of SNCC" groups on Northern campuses. The "Friends" collected money for Southern organizing drives, sent volunteers to the South, and organized solidarity demonstrations and picketing.

In early 1965, one of SNCC's major focuses was the registration of blacks in Lowndes County, Alabama. Lowndes County had a population of over 15,000, 81 percent of which was black: yet, in early 1965, there were no blacks registered to vote in the County. In March of 1965, the Lowndes County Freedom Organization (LCFO) was founded with a black panther as its symbol. Despite constant harassment, within a year the Organization registered 2000 black voters in the County. In May of 1966, the LCFO held a nominating convention and selected seven candidates to run in the general election in November. All seven LCFO candidates lost to their Democratic Party opponents; there was no Republican Party in the County.


.25 Linear Feet (1 MB)


Tom and Janet Canterbury were active in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in Lowndes County, Alabama. Their papers reflect the Canterbury’s involvement in the civil right movement, and the activities of the SNCC in registering African-American voters in Southern states.


Material arranged alphabetically in one series.


The papers of Tom and Janet Canterbury were deposited in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs in March of 1974 by Jerome Breslaw.


Nine SNCC and Lowndes County Freedom Organization bumper stickers have been placed in the Archives Audiovisual Collection.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library in March 1984.
Guide to the Tom and Janet Canterbury Papers
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA