Collection Highlights: 1968 NAACP Newsletter

Inspired by the theme presented by the National Women’s History Alliance, for National Women’s History Month (NWHM) 2019, “Visionary Women: Champions of Peace and Nonviolence”, and in partnership with the League of Women Voters of Coastal Georgia, this month’s editions of Collection Highlights explore the role of Georgia women, “who have led efforts to end war, violence, and injustice and pioneered the use of nonviolence to change society.”

NAACP Newsletter, Ethel Hyer Family papers, MS 2117

Ethel Hyer served as president of the Rome Chapter of the NAACP for fifteen years.  She was the chapter’s first female leader and an active participant in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. The materials in the Ethel Hyer Family papers reflect her work as an activist as well as her involvement in many religious, civic, and social organizations. Ethel Hyer was honored by the city of Rome for her contributions to her community in 1973 when she was given the key to the city, now located in the collection. 

This newsletter, part of the Ethel Hyer Family papers collection, was published in September 1968. It is from the Southeastern Regional Office of the NAACP under the direction of Ruby Hurley, and, like Ethel Hyer, Ms. Hurley rose to be a rare figure in the Civil Rights Movement as she held multiple leadership positions throughout her tenure with the organization. Initially she was National Youth Secretary responsible for expanding and organizing youth councils and collegiate chapters. In 1951, Ms. Hurley was sent by the NAACP to Birmingham, Alabama, to help expand membership in several southern states.  She was named Regional Secretary and later Director of the Southeastern Regional branch of the NAACP, which ultimately grew to be the largest group of the organization with over 90,000 members. In this edition of the branch’s newsletter you can read about Ms. Hurley’s efforts to continue to grow membership in the NAACP, as well as her efforts to utilize strategies to unite the differing state and local branches.

This newsletter is one of many digitized resources available for research through the GHS Digital Image Catalog, found online at

Ethel Hyer Family papers

Georgia’s Role in the Civil Rights Movement Primary Source Set

Ruby Hurley, National Women’s History Museum

Women in the Civil Rights Movement, Library of Congress

To learn more about NWHM or the 2019 theme please visit: