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Parren J. Mitchell interview


Parren James Mitchell (1922-2007) was an activist, U.S. Congressman, and was the first Black individual elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from the state of Maryland. In this oral history interview, Mitchell discusses his entry into civil rights activism, including early recollections about the City-Wide Young People's Forum and picketing against segregation at Ford's Theatre in Baltimore, Maryland. He further touches upon the Donald Murray civil rights case, desegregation efforts within the city of Baltimore, and the impacts of the passage of the Public Accommodations Law and Omnibus Civil Rights Act. Among the individuals Mitchell speaks about within the interview are freedom fighter Lillie May Carroll Jackson, politician Theodore McKeldin, and Baltimore Afro-American newspaper publisher Dr. Carl Murphy, among others.




Contributor(s) Notes

Narrator: Parren J. Mitchell
Interviewer: Susan Conwell

Production Note

The McKeldin-Jackson Project was an effort to examine the Maryland civil rights movement of the mid-20th century through the medium of oral history by focusing on the roles played by pioneering freedom fighter Lillie May Carroll Jackson and Theodore R. McKeldin, who was Mayor of Baltimore (1943-1947, 1963-1967), Governor of Maryland (1951-1959), and an advocate for civil rights. The project was sponsored by the Maryland Historical Society and was supported in part by a grant from the Maryland Committee for the Humanities and Public Policy.


Object ID

OH 8170


Audio: 56 minutes
Transcript: 24 pages

Catalog Number

OH 8170

Resource ID


Digital Publisher

Digital resource provided by the Maryland Center for History and Culture


This digital material is made available here for private study, scholarship, and research. Commercial and other uses are prohibited without the permission of the Maryland Center for History and Culture. For more information, visit the MCHC’s Reproductions and Permissions web page.