DEACONS FOR DEFENSE AND JUSTICE FBI FILES
1600 pages of files copied from FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C., and archived on CD-ROM, covering the Deacons for Defense and Justice. In 1965 the FBI began investigating the Deacons for Defense and Justice until early 1972 when the organization became inactive. This organization was characterized as a black militant vigilante group which was formed in Louisiana in late 1964 for defensive purposes in retaliation for Ku Klux Klan activities.
Charles Sims was the founder of the Deacons for Defense and Justice. Sims formed the DDJ after local police escorted a Klan march through a black neighborhood in Jonesboro, Louisiana. Based in local churches, the Deacons for Defense and Justice set up armed patrol car systems in cities such as Bogalusa and Jonesboro, Louisiana. The DDJ expanded to 62 chapters throughout the South and a chapter in Chicago.
Files cover racial matters in the south and Chicago. Files document FBI surveillance of attempts of the DDJ to spread. Files included detailed coverage of the violence surrounding the August 1966 visit of Martin Luther King Jr. to Chicago. Organizations covered in the files include: American Nazi Party, Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), Coordination Council for Black Power, Nation of Islam, Original Knights of the Klu Klux Klan, Progressive Labor Party, Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM), Socialist Workers Party, Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), United Klans of America, and W.E.B DuBois clubs of Chicago.