Skip to main content

People Against Racism records

Collection MS-2020-066: People Against Racism records


  • Creation: late 1960s

Content Description

The papers include unpublished typed position statements produced by the Cambridge chapter of People Against Racism including "Colonialism and the Ghetto" and "The War in Vietnam is a Racist War". Additionally, there is a position statement written by Frank H. Joyce, an activist in the Detroit chapter of PAR, entitled, "What is Racism?" along with internal research and statistics about systemic racism in America called "The Myth of Progress."


Restrictions on Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

These materials are made available for use in research, teaching and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. The original authors may retain copyright to the materials.

Historical Note

People Against Racism (PAR) was an organization formed in the late 1960s to address racial discrimination and institutional racism in Detroit, Michigan. PAR evolved out of Friends of the Northern Student Movement which was formed around 1965-1966 and was essentially former white members of the Northern Student Movement (NSM). NSM, which fought discrimination in the North and supported the Southern Student Movement, began to shift their strategic focus during this time and decided to have white activists focusing on white communities, resulting in Friends of the Northern Student Movement, and Black activists working in Black communities. The formation of People Against Racism was also heavily influenced by the extreme racism and police brutality that was occurring in Detroit during this time. White activists that had been involved in civil rights were pushed further left and joined more radical organizations like PAR, which, like its predecessor Friends of NSM, continued to have primarily white membership.

Throughout the 1960s PAR had chapters on college campuses and in cities throughout the United States, including Boston. PAR had a strong position against the war in Vietnam, believing that if the group stood against racism it must also be against the war. PAR had ceased to be active as an organization by the 1970s.


Joyce, Frank. Interviewed by William Winkel, October 17th, 2016, Detroit Historical Society, Audio/WAV.

Thompson, Heather Ann. Whose Detroit?: Politics, Labor, and Race in a Modern American City, Cornell University Press, 2001.


0.25 Linear Feet (1 container)

Language of Materials



Records that document the mission of People Against Racism, a twentieth-century American anti-racism organization.


Organized into the following series: I. Position statements and II. Research.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from D. Anthem, Bookseller in November 2020.

Related Materials

Northern Student Movement collection, MS.2020.063, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

People Against Racism Records
late 1960s
Alison Harris
July 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the John J. Burns Library Repository

John J. Burns Library
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill MA 02467 United States