ACTIVIST MATTIE B. MEYERS &
THE CIVIL RIGHTS FIGHT IN FRESNO
Educator and leader of the Fresno NAACP, Mattie B. Meyers was a prominent activist for educational and housing equality in the 1960s. She spoke at hearings held by the U.S. House of Representatives, and was responsible for bringing Martin Luther King, Jr. to Fresno in June 1964. This lesson will help students understand her fight to improve educational opportunities for Fresno’s African American community. She advocated for an end de facto segregation in Southwest Fresno and participated in integration busing debates. Students will be able to define redlining and describe how it fostered educational and economic disparities then and now. Students will connect to the people who fought for equal rights in the central San Joaquin Valley to the national Civil Rights Movement, including the activities of Martin Luther King Jr., Brown v. Board of Education, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968.
This is designed as a local supplement to a broader foundational lesson.
Statement of Mrs. Mattie B. Meyers, First Vice President, Central Area NAACP, pg 4-11. “Racial Discrimination in Federally Assisted Education Programs.” Hearing before the Select SubCommittee on Education of the Committee on Education and Labor, House of Representatives Eighty-Eighth Congress, First Session on H.R. 7771. Los Angeles, California, August 12, 1963. Google Books.
Alice Daniel. "Civil Rights Leader Mattie Meyers: Son Recalls Her Legacy." Valley Public Radio, January 23, 2019. (Radio Interview 11:56)