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Eyes on the Prize
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The FBI and the Civil Rights Movement

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FBI Director John Edgar Hoover.

The Bureau of Investigations was established by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1907, and renamed the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) in 1935. J. Edgar Hoover directed the agency from 1924 until his death in 1972. The FBI historically kept a close eye on black leaders, like Marcus Garvey, but that reached a new level in 1967 when Hoover instigated COINTELPRO, a counter intelligence program directed, in Hoover's words, "to expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize the activities of black nationalist, hate-type organizations and groupings." COINTELPRO harassed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, as well as the more militant Black Panthers. The FBI also infiltrated white supremacist groups like the Ku Klux Klan.

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