Contained within a May 24, 1963 hand-addressed envelope, Rosa Parks expresses her regrets for not being able to attend the birthday celebration of the head of Baltimore's chapter of the NAACP, Dr. Lillie Jackson. The envelope is addressed to Dr. Jackson. Copies of a newspaper article featuring both women is included, along with a copy of Mrs. Parks' appearance in Baltimore.
From the collection of Michael Mitchell, who is the son of Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr. (known as the 101st United States Senator, considered the principal architect of the civil rights legislation of the 1950s and 1960s, awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from United States President Jimmy Carter, and former Ambassador to the 75th General Assembly of the United Nations) and Juanita Jackson Mitchell (first African American woman to practice law in Maryland, filed lawsuits which resulted in the desegregation of schools, beaches and places of public accommodation in Maryland), the nephew of Congressman Parren J. Mitchell (the first African American congressman elected from the State of Maryland, founding member and former Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus), and the grandson of Dr. Lillie May Carroll Jackson (known as the mother of the civil rights movement). For four generations, members of the Mitchell family have played important roles in American politics, civil rights, education and culture. The family includes many prominent and accomplished civil rights activists who were instrumental in effecting change in their own communities, as well as at a national and international level, including doing work that was key to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968.