1942 March 9

Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) Founded


The civil rights group the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), was founded in Chicago on this day as an offshoot of the Fellowship of Reconciliation (founded on November 11, 1915). The new group conducted sit-ins challenging segregated restaurants in Chicago in 1943.

CORE is most famous for organizing the 1961 Freedom Rides that began on May 4, 1961. Its most important leader was James Farmer, who organized and led the Freedom Rides. After his departure from the organization in 1966, CORE lost its influence as a civil rights organization.

Read about the history of CORE: August Meier and Elliott Rudwick, CORE: A Study in the Civil Rights Movement, 1942–1968 (1973)

Watch a 1965 interview with CORE’s leader, James Farmer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXVcUZZQZRA

Read Farmer’s autobiography: James Farmer, Lay Bare the Heart: An Autobiography of the Civil Rights Movement (1985)

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