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Congress of Racial Equality

The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) is a SCLC, the SNCC, and the NAACP. Though still existent, CORE has been much less influential since the end of the 1955–68 civil rights movement.


  • Founding 1
  • Civil rights campaigns 2
    • Freedom Rides 2.1
    • Desegregating Chicago's Schools 2.2
    • March on Washington 2.3
    • Freedom Summer 2.4
    • March in Cicero, Illinois 2.5
  • Since 1966 3
    • African branch 3.1
  • See also 4
  • Notes 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7
    • Archives 7.1


CORE was founded in Chicago in March 1942. Among the founding members were Greenpeace and undermine environmental regulation. CORE has been recently quoted stating that there is no 'convincing, real evidence that humans are disrupting the earth's climate.' [16] However, they have been funded a minimum amount of $40,000 from Exxon Mobil.[16] It’s fair to say that CORE was for sale to anyone with a need for visible black cheerleaders in its campaign."[18]

According to an interview given by James Farmer in 1993, "CORE has no functioning chapters; it holds no conventions, no elections, no meetings, sets no policies, has no social programs and does no fund-raising. In my opinion, CORE is fraudulent."[19]

African branch

CORE has an

  • Congress of Racial Equality, Seattle Chapter, records. 1961-1970. 5 cubic feet (12 boxes). At the Labor Archives of Washington State, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections.


  • Civil Rights Greensboro
  • Congress of Racial Equality website
  • Civil Rights Movement Veterans
  • "You Don't Have to Ride Jim Crow!" Web site for documentary of Journey of Reconciliation.
  • Chris Mooney, Mother Jones, May/June 2005, "Black Gold?" - CORE, ExxonMobil
  • The Frank J. Miranda Papers document Miranda's activities as CORE activist and one-time chair of the Boston CORE chapter. Located in the Archives and Special Collections of the Northeastern University Libraries in Boston, MA.
  • A History of Harlem CORE
  • CORE and Central Area Civil Rights Campaigns 1960-1968 , multimedia resources on CORE activity in Seattle, Washington from the Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project.
  • CORE Documents Online collection of original CORE documents ~ Civil Rights Movement Veterans.
  • A History of CORE in New York City
  • "CORE," One Person, One Vote

External links

  • August Meier and Elliott Rudwick, CORE: A Study in the Civil Rights Movement, 1942-1968 (1973), Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1975. ISBN 0-252-00567-8
  • James Farmer, Lay Bare the Heart: An Autobiography of the Civil Rights Movement. New York: Arbor House, 1985. ISBN 0-87795-624-3
  • Meier, August and Elliot Rudwick, CORE a Study in the Civil Rights Movement, 1942 – 1968. New York: Oxford University Press, 1973. ISBN NONE. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 72-92294


  1. ^ August Meier & Elliot Rudwick (1975). CORE: A Study in the Civil Rights Movement. University of Illinois Press. 
  2. ^ Homes, George. "The Congress of Racial Equality"
  3. ^ David Hardiman (2003). Gandhi in His Time and Ours: The Global Legacy of His Ideas. C. Hurst & Co. Publishers. p. 256.  
  4. ^ Meier and Rudwick, CORE, pp. 3-23.
  5. ^ Meyer and Rudwick, CORE, pp. 374-408.
  6. ^ Meier and Rudwick, CORE, pp. 33-39.
  7. ^ Freedom Rides ~ Civil Rights Movement Veterans
  8. ^ Meier and Rudwick, CORE, pp. 135-145.
  9. ^ CORE Rebuttal to CBS Standpoint editorial broadcast program, January 16, 1964, Chicago, CHM, CORE Papers, Box 2.
  10. ^ Meier and Rudwick, CORE, pp. 269-281.
  11. ^ Freedom Riders
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ “CORE For School Bias,” Chicago Defender, September 15, 1970.
  15. ^ "Republicans: In Search of Enthusiasm". Time. May 17, 1968. Retrieved April 30, 2010. 
  16. ^ a b c "Put a Tiger In Your Think Tank", Mother Jones, May/June 2005.
  17. ^ Mencimer, Stephanie Mencimer (November 10, 2009). "Tea Partiers' Next Target: The Climate Bill". Mother Jones. Retrieved November 10, 2009. 
  18. ^ a b Gutstein, Donald (November 24, 2009). Not a Conspiracy Theory: How Business Propaganda Hijacks Democracy. Key Porter Books.  
  19. ^ Charles, Nick (April 22, 2003). "Equal Opportunity Scam: CORE Hustles White Firms With Race". New York Village Voice. 
  20. ^
  21. ^ Hilary Bainemigisha, "Uganda: Walking Kampala to Gulu to Fight Malaria" (Page 1 of 1)., July 10, 2007.


See also

[21] In recent years, CORE has been accused of being a hired front for corporate interests. An article in

In 1966, James Farmer resigned as Director of CORE, to be replaced by conservative political positions. CORE supported the presidential candidacy of Richard Nixon in 1968 and 1972. In 1970, CORE voiced its support for racially-separate, segregated schools.[14] Recently, on same sex marriage and black health in the U.S.: "When you say to society at large that you have to accept, not only accept our lifestyle, but promote it and put it on the same plane and equate it with traditional marriage, that's where we draw the line and we say 'no.' That's not something that is a civil right. That is not something that is a human right", said Niger Innis, national spokesman for CORE, and son of Roy Innis.[15] COREcares was an HIV/AIDS advocacy, education and prevention program for black women. Innis is on the board of the conservative Project 21 organization.

Since 1966

On September 4, 1966 Robert Lucas and fellow members of CORE led activists through Cicero, Illinois to pressure the city of Chicago's white leaders into making solid commitments to open housing. Shortly before the march, Chicago city officials, including Mayor Richard J. Daley, negotiated a Fair Housing agreement with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in exchange for an end of demonstrations.[12] Nevertheless, Robert Lucas and other members of CORE felt that the march was strategically necessary and proceeded with it anyway.[13] The march is documented in the 1966 short documentary film, Cicero March, which was added to the National Film Registry in 2013.

March in Cicero, Illinois

Freedom Schools were often targets of white mobs. So also were the homes of local African Americans involved in the campaign. That summer 30 black homes and 37 black churches were firebombed. Over 80 volunteers were beaten by white mobs or racist police officers. Three CORE activists, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, were murdered by the Ku Klux Klan on June 21, 1964 (see Mississippi civil rights workers murders). These deaths created nationwide publicity for the campaign. [11]

CORE, SNCC and COFO also established 30 Freedom Schools in towns throughout Mississippi. Volunteers taught in the schools and the curriculum now included black history, the philosophy of the civil rights movement. During the summer of 1964 over 3,000 students attended these schools and the experiment provided a model for future educational programs such as Head Start.

The following year, CORE along with the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP). Over 80,000 people joined the party and 68 delegates attended the Democratic Party Convention in Atlantic City and challenged the attendance of the all-white Mississippi representation.[10]

Freedom Summer

In 1963, the organization helped organize the famous March on Washington. On August 28, 1963, more than 250,000 people marched peacefully to the Lincoln Memorial to demand equal justice for all citizens under the law. At the end of the march Martin Luther King Jr. made his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.

A CORE sign displayed as Robert F. Kennedy speaks to a crowd outside the Department of Justice Building in June 1963
March on Washington By 1966, the

During the mid-1960s, CORE turned towards community involvement, seeking to equip Chicagoans with ways to challenge segregation. Freedom Houses, transfer petitions, community rallies and meetings served to educate Chicagoans about segregation and provide them with tools to circumnavigate the neighborhood school policy.

Between 1960 and 1963, CORE wrote letters about the conditions of schools to the Board of Education (headed by Superintendent Benjamin Willis), Mayor Richard J. Daley, the Illinois State House of Representatives and the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. In addition, CORE attended the Board's school budget hearings, speaking against segregation and asking for the Board to implement transfer plans to desegregate the schools. In July 1963, CORE staged a week-long sit-in and protest at the Board office in downtown Chicago in response to the Board's inaction. Finally, Board President Claire Roddewig and Willis agreed to meet with CORE to negotiate integration, but no significant changes came to the schools.

Many segregated schools were overcrowded, and in order to ease overcrowding, the Board instated double-shifts at some schools. Double-shifts meant that students in affected schools attended less than a full day of class. In another measure to alleviate overcrowding at some schools, the Board sanctioned the construction of mobile classroom units. Moreover, a significant proportion of students dropped out before finishing high school. Faculty was segregated, and many teachers in predominantly black schools lacked full-time teaching experience compared to teachers in white schools. In addition, the history curriculum did not mention African Americans. According to CORE, “school segregation [was] a damaging bacteria, a psychological handicap, which [festered] a disease generating widespread unemployment and crime in Chicago”.[9]

In 1960, the Chicago chapter of CORE began to challenge racial segregation in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). By the late 1950s, the Board of Education's maintenance of the neighborhood school policy resulted in a pattern of racial segregation in the CPS. Predominantly black schools were situated in predominantly black neighborhoods on the south and west sides of the city, while predominantly white schools were located in predominantly white areas in the north, northwest and southwest sides of Chicago.

Desegregating Chicago's Schools

[8] On May 4, 1961, participants journeyed to the deep

By the early 1960s, Farmer, who had taken a hiatus from leading the group, returned as its executive secretary and sought to repeat the 1947 journey, coining a new name for it: the Freedom Ride.

On April 10, 1947, CORE sent a group of eight white (including James Peck, their publicity officer) and eight black men on what was to be a two-week Journey of Reconciliation through Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky in an effort to end segregation in interstate travel. The members of this group were arrested and jailed several times, but they received a great deal of publicity, and this marked the beginning of a long series of similar campaigns.[6]

Freedom Rides

By 1961 CORE had 53 chapters throughout the United States. By 1963, most of the major urban centers of the Northeast, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and West Coast had one or more CORE chapters, including a growing number of chapters on college campuses. In the South, CORE had active chapters and projects in Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, South Carolina, and Kentucky.

Congress of Racial Equality march in Washington DC on 22 September 1963 in memory of the children killed in the Birmingham bombings. The banner, which says "No more Birminghams", shows a picture of the aftermath of the bombing.

Civil rights campaigns

Some CORE main leadership had strong disagreements with the Ku Klux Klan, in Louisiana during the 1960s. By the mid-1960s, Farmer was growing disenchanted with the emerging black nationalist sentiments within CORE — sentiments that, among other things, would quickly lead to the Black Panther Party — and he resigned in 1966, to be replaced by Floyd McKissick.[5]

In accordance with CORE's constitution and bylaws, in the early and mid-1960s, chapters were organized on a model similar to that of a democratic trade union, with monthly membership meetings, elected and usually unpaid officers, and numerous committees of volunteers. In the South, CORE's nonviolent direct action campaigns opposed "Jim Crow" segregation and job discrimination, and fought for voting rights. Outside the South, CORE focused on discrimination in employment and housing, and also in de facto school segregation.

[4].racial segregation in the United States to challenge African-Americans could also be used by civil disobedience; CORE believed that nonviolent India rule in British was still engaged in non-violent resistance against Gandhi, an American author, poet, and philosopher. At the time of CORE's founding Henry David Thoreau Gandhi had, in turn, been influenced by the writings of [3]

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