[President Truman’s Committee on Civil Rights]
John Egerton Papers
Vanderbilt University Special Collections
President Truman’s Committee on Civil Rights, formed in 1946, stood for a group photo when it finished its report, “To Secure These Rights” in 1947. The lack of Black men and women is striking in the photo, demonstrating federal policy on civil rights, in the 1940s, was controlled by white men. Truman’s lasting civil rights legacy was desegregating the military through Executive Order 9981. This photograph was included in John Egerton’s book Speak Now Against the Day: The Generation Before the Civil Rights Movement in the South.