Civil Rights Movement Archive
Annual Report for the Year 2023

January 1, 2024


A Rising Threat

A Rising Threat

Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
Those who prevent learning from history want to repeat it.

We have no doubt that 2024 will be a year of intense political action against resurgant white-supremacy, attacks on voting rights, and assaults against democracy itself. For us, an aspect of that struggle is building and preserving the CRMA as an online racial-justice archive, and promoting our inside-out and up-from-the-bottom understanding of our Freedom Movement history.

We know that the South, particularly Florida, is the epicenter of MAGA assaults against all those who stand for human rights.

"What we are witnessing in Florida is an intellectual reign of terror. There is a tremendous sense of dread right now, not just among faculty; it's tangible among students and staff as well. People are intellectually and physically scared. We are being named an enemy of the State." — Professor LeRoy Pernell, Florida A&M (FAMU), AAUP Report (PDF).

But the damaging effects of MAGA intimidation and retaliation are not restricted to that one state — they are widespread and nationwide. We've just completed an annual review/update of our online Civil Rights Movement Archives, Centers & Museums database. We had to delete several hundred links to oral histories, documents, and archives because those sites and pages no longer exist out on the web. No doubt some of these disappearances are due to normal internet churn as sites go out of existence or pages are removed for various reasons. But we suspect that some were taken down for political reasons.

And there's also a less well-known threat to preserving open access to our history. 'Content' corporations such as Cengage-Gale are monetizing culture and history — including ours. They buy archive collections from financially-stressed institutions, then slap a paywall in front of the material, charging significant subscription fees to libraries, schools, publishers, and others. To access the information that used to be freely available, you now must have a Login ID from a subscribing organization. That may not be a problem for faculty or students at elite universities, but many four-year and community colleges cannot afford such subscriptions. Nor can most public high schools or local libraries.

For example, we used to provide links to more than 175 oral-histories of Freedom Movement veterans that were contained in the Ralph Bunche Oral History Collection at Howard University. Now they are behind a Cengarn paywall.

Since we are committed to free, open access, we had to delete those links from our public database. This is a painful loss because the Bunche interviews were conducted in the late 1960s when interviewees were either still engaged in struggle or their memories were fresh. And some of the interviews now sequestered behind the Cengage paywall are the only ones we've been able to locate for those individuals.

We and our Sister Sites remain dedicated to the fight for freedom, justice, and equality that we joined more six decades ago — and continue to wage to this day. For us, MAGA political assaults and corporate monetization mean that once again we have to rely on ourselves and our communities to create and build independent, alternative information sources that are willing and able to defy political pressure and corporate monetization. Resources that are dedicated to preserving and promoting our history as an aspect of the generations-long struggle for human rights that we are so proud to be a part of.


2023 Milestones


Website Traffic

According to Google, there were 266,796 visits to our site in 2023 for an average of 731 per day. This represents a 4% decline from last year. We estimate that roughly 15% of our visitors came from nations other than the U.S.

It is difficult to precisely assess the causes of our traffic decline from last year:

[Annual visits graph]
As you can see, from 2010-2015 our number of visitors grew, but from 2016-2019 our growth stalled and traffic slumped. It may be that during the Trump regime educational institutions reacted to the resurgence of white-supremacy by cutting back on, or discouraging, study of racial-justice subjects.

2020 saw a peak, perhaps due to the massive George Floyd police-murder protests and/or the fiercely fought Biden v Trump election with its blatant Republican attack on voting rights and their attempt to overturn the the Biden victory. Since then, our numbers have again gone into decline, possibly due to the continued political intimidation and suppression of what MAGAites label "critical race theory," or deem to be "woke."

[Monthly visits graph]

As you can see from our previous annual reports, it's normal for our website traffic to rise and fall with the school calendar as grade school and college students use us for homework, reports, research, etc. Our busiest months are usually January (MLK Day), February (Black History Month), and April-May (academic year and term papers due).


Preliminary 2023 Financial Summary

Our Civil Rights Movement Archive receivies almost no grants or funding from foundations, other institutions, or big-donor philanthropists. Almost all of the donations we receive are small amounts — averaging around $30 each — most of which are from Freedom Movement veterans themselves. We use those donations to pay for web services, transcriptions, original documents, technical enhancements, and data-entry help.

The financial summary below reports only our donation income and the total expenses paid from those donations, it does not include our volunteer-labor or the out-of-pocket and in-kind expenses that we cover ourselves.

This preliminary financial summary not yet been reviewed, reconciled, or certified by the CRMA Treasurer.


Website Content

As of December 31st, 2023, our online archive contains 9693 searchable pages, documents, and images, plus 295 videos in our Vimeo video channel. Google reports that out on the global internet there are 18,987 backlinks to our CRMA site, sections, and pages by organizations and people using us as an information resource.

CRMA Video Channel

In 2023, Jackie Keith our video coordinator, searched out, obtained permissions for, and added 141 new videos to our online CRMA Video Channel bringing up the total number to 295. Our channel is hosted on the Vimeo platform. Since the Vimeo user-interface is clunky (at best), we provide a CRMA Film, Video & Audio Recordings page which is a more user-friendly Table of Contents with individual links.

The CRMA video channel is organized into 19 collections (AKA "Showcases" in Vimeo parlance):

Top-20 Sections, Landing & Reference Pages in 2023:

  1. Our Words, Articles & Speeches
  2. Freedom Rides and Freedom Riders Resources
  3. Original Freedom Movement Documents
  4. Site Search: Civil Rights Movement Archive
  5. Poems of the Civil Rights Movement
  6. Documents From the Montgomery Bus Boycott
  7. Civil Rights Movement History 1951-1968
  8. Freedom Movement Bibliography
  9. Freedom Movement Photo Album
  10. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
  11. Documents From the 1960s Sit-Ins
  12. About the Civil Rights Movement Archive
  13. Civil Rights Movement Web Links
  14. Freedom Movement Videos
  15. Are You "Qualified" to Vote?—Literacy Tests & Voter Applications
  16. Our Stories & Interviews
  17. Reports & Letters From the Field
  18. March on Washington: Articles & Speeches
  19. Documents From Freedom Summer Projests
  20. Documents From the March on Washington

Top-20 Individual Pages & Documents

  1. Civil Rights Movement History: 1960 (student sit-ins)
  2. What were the failures of the Civil Rights Movement? (FAQ)
  3. Louisiana Voter Application and Literacy Tests
  4. Alabama Voter Literacy Test
  5. Photo Album: The Sit-Ins—Off Campus and Into Movement (1960)
  6. Civil Rights Movement History: 1961 (Freedom Rides, MS voter registration, Albany GA)
  7. Civil Rights Movement History: 1963 Jan-June (Birmingham, Greenwod, Danville)
  8. Photo Album: The Freedom Rides (1961)
  9. Photo Album: Freedom Movement in Art
  10. Photo Album: The Children's Crusade: Birmingham (1963)
  11. Photo Album: Freedom Summer (1964)
  12. Poems of Langston Hughes
  13. Bigger Than a Hamburger, Ella Baker. Address: SNCC founding conference (1960)
  14. Civil Rights Movement History: 1955 (Emmett Till, Montgomery Bus Boycott)
  15. Voter Registration in Alabama Before the Voting Rights Act
  16. CRM History: Mississippi Freedom Summer
  17. CRM History: 1963 July-Dec (July-Dec (Mass Protests, March on Washington JFK assassination)
  18. The Other America, Dr. Martin Luther King. (1967)
  19. Poem: Ain't I A Woman?, Sojourner Truth
  20. Ghettos, Segregation, & Poverty in the 1960s, Bruce Hartford (2015)

Submitted January 1, 2024
Bruce Hartford, CRMA webspinner

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