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Shocking the ConscienceA Reporter's Account of the Civil Rights Movement$
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Simeon Booker and Carol McCabe Booker

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781617037894

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617037894.001.0001

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date: 23 February 2019

“A Communist Under Every Bed”

“A Communist Under Every Bed”

(p.94) 8 “A Communist Under Every Bed”
Shocking the Conscience

Simeon Booker

University Press of Mississippi

In August 1956, Dr. T. R. M. Howard, a physician and voting rights activist from Mississippi, left the state forever with his wife and resettled on Chicago’s South Side. There, he became president of the National (the Negro) Medical Association and shifted his allegiance to the Republican Party after twenty-five years as a Democrat. In 1958, Howard ran but lost against Democratic Congressman William Dawson for the latter’s House seat. By the time of his death in 1976, he remained a major figure in South Side Chicago politics, medical care, and civil rights movement. As an outspoken proponent of civil rights and equal opportunity for blacks, Howard got the ire of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director J. Edgar Hoover. The FBI also had a dispute with civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and conducted an investigation of the author, a reporter for the black-owned magazine Jet, because his Baptist minister father was allegedly a “pro-Communist.” Jet continued to publish stories of the war between Hoover and civil rights activists.

Keywords:   civil rights movement, T. R. M. Howard, Chicago, Republican Party, politics, blacks, Federal Bureau of Investigation, J. Edgar Hoover, Martin Luther King Jr., Jet

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