Congress of Racial Equality

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Organized ca. 1942 by an interracial group of University of Chicago students and theological seminary students, and by members of the Fellowship of Reconciliation (U.S.); purpose was to eliminate all racial segregation and discrimination by means of interracial, direct nonviolent action; by 1966, CORE's official policy shifted to Black power and Black separatism while rejecting the former principles of non-violence.

From the description of Collected records, 1942-1972. (Swarthmore College, Peace Collection). WorldCat record id: 42415763

In 1942, the Fellowship of Reconciliation developed an interracial civil rights organization committed to nonviolent direct action and adopted the name Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). CORE established chapters in northern and western states throughout the 1940s, focusing primarily on desegregation of public facilities. During the 1950s, CORE groups formed in the southern and border states with primarily Black membership. By 1966, CORE's official policy shifted to Black power and Black separatism while rejecting the former principles of non-violence.

From the description of Bookkeeping files, 1953-1954, 1962-1966. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 38476575

From the description of Congress of Racial Equality records, 1944-1968. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 38476540

In 1942, the Fellowship of Reconciliation developed an interracial civil rights organization committed to nonviolent direct action and adopted the name Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). CORE established chapters in northern and western states throughout the 1940s, focusing primarily on desegregation of public facilities. During the 1950s, CORE groups formed in the southern and border states with primarily Black membership. By 1966, CORE's official policy shifted to Black power and Black separatism while rejecting the former principles of non-violence.

George Wiley (1931-1973), educator and CORE Associate National Director from 1965-1966.

From the description of Associate National Director George Wiley files, 1962-1966 (bulk 1965). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 38476572

In 1942, the Fellowship of Reconciliation developed an interracial civil rights organization committed to nonviolent direct action and adopted the name Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). CORE established chapters in northern and western states throughout the 1940s, focusing primarily on desegregation of public facilities. During the 1950s, CORE groups formed in the southern and border states with primarily Black membership. By 1966, CORE's official policy shifted to Black power and Black separatism while rejecting the former principles of non-violence.

Floyd McKissick (1922-1991), lawyer, minister, civil rights activist and Congress of Racial Equality National Director from 1966-1968.

From the description of National Director Floyd McKissick files, 1960-1968. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 38476571

In 1942, the Fellowship of Reconciliation developed an interracial civil rights organization committed to nonviolent direct action and adopted the name Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). CORE established chapters in northern and western states throughout the 1940s, focusing primarily on desegregation of public facilities. During the 1950s, CORE groups formed in the southern and border states with primarily Black membership. By 1966, CORE's official policy shifted to Black power and Black separatism while rejecting the former principles of non-violence.

James Farmer (1920- ), National Director of CORE from 1961-1966.

From the description of National Director James Farmer files, 1960-1966. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 38476541

Arnold (Arnie) Stanley Goldwag was born on January 18, 1938. A resident of Brooklyn, Goldwag attended Brooklyn College beginning in 1955 where he held leadership positions in a range of organizations, including social fraternities, student government, and student rights groups. He left Brooklyn College about 1961 without graduating, though he was readmitted in 1966 and graduated in 1968.

While still at Brooklyn College in the late 1950s, Goldwag became involved in the activities of the Brooklyn chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), starting with distributing fliers urging a boycott of Woolworth's. His role in the chapter expanded quickly, and in the years of Goldwag's active participation in CORE (1960-1965), he held leadership positions, principally as the Community Relations Director. In this position, Goldwag was responsible for press relations, publicity, and coordination with communities and demonstrators on the organization's direct actions. Over the course of his tenure in Brooklyn CORE, Goldwag participated in a number of actions, both locally, such as the 1963 Board of Education sit-in, and nationally, such as in Cambridge, Maryland, where Goldwag was involved in CORE's effort to desegregate public facilities. Goldwag's activism led to several arrests and a 13 month prison sentence in 1964; he served one month of the sentence in Rikers Island penitentiary.

Founded in Chicago in 1942, CORE was centered on the principles of interracial, nonviolent direct action. Local chapters that affiliated with national CORE had a great deal of autonomy of action. Within this structure, Brooklyn CORE emerged in the early 1960s as one of the most radical CORE chapters, focusing on the living conditions of poor African-Americans in Bedford-Stuyvesant and employing increasingly aggressive confrontational tactics. It was during this surging radical activism in Brooklyn CORE that Goldwag was a central figure in the chapter and in its many civil rights actions. Indeed, Goldwag was a principal creator of one of Brooklyn CORE's most controversial actions, the Stall-In at the opening of the 1964 World's Fair. This action, which called for the deliberate blockage of automobile traffic headed to the Fair in order to call attention to discrimination against African-Americans, led to the suspension of the chapter by CORE.

Subsequent to his days with CORE, which ended in 1965, and his 1968 graduation from Brooklyn College, Goldwag went to work for the New York City Human Resources Administration as a contract manager for home care programs. In the 1990s he went on leave to work for his union (Social Service Employees Union Local 371) as Health and Safety Coordinator. In the 1990s and 2000s, Goldwag was actively engaged in ensuring that the civil rights movement was remembered, and its continued struggle recognized. He participated in a number of conferences and oral histories, and opened his files to researchers. Arnie Goldwag died on August 9, 2008.

From the guide to the Arnie Goldwag Brooklyn Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) collection, Bulk, 1961-1971, 1943-2007, (Brooklyn Historical Society)

Downtown CORE (Congress of Racial Equality), a chapter of the CORE national organization, was formed in March 1963 and remained active until the end 1966. Based on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, it was one of nearly a dozen New York City local chapters organized in the early 1960s. Its founders included Rita and Michael Schwerner (the latter one of the group of three civil rights workers murdered in Philadelphia, Mississippi in 1964), and its members included radical pacifist Igal Rodenko, anarchist activist and theorist Murray Bookchin, and writer Bell Gale Chevigny.

While the chapter focused much of its energy on tenant organizing and combatting racial discrimination in housing, its first local action, in July and August of 1963, was organizing demonstrations protesting discrimination in hiring of workers building Rutgers Houses (a public housing development then under construction on the Lower East Side), as part of a national CORE campaign against all-white building trades unions. A dozen and half Downtown members were arrested on disorderly conduct charges during these demonstrations and sentenced to five days in prison or paying a $25 fine. Three of them, including Helena Lewis (sometimes also known as Helena Levine), an administrative assistant at New York University and a Downtown CORE officer, refused to pay their fines and served their time at New York City’s Women’s House of Detention, in October 1964. Appalled by what they saw and experienced there, they mounted a campaign, in concert with others, to protest and focus public attention on conditions at the prison. This campaign included sending letters to editors of newspapers and confidential memoranda to New York City and State public officials, and testifying to a grand jury convened (possibly in part because of their actions) to investigate complaints against state of affairs at the jail, as well as to the New York State legislature's Joint Committee on Penal Institutions.

From the guide to the Downtown CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) Records, 1963-1967, (Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive)

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Relation Name
associatedWith Adelman, Bob person
associatedWith Alabama. Governor (1955-1959 : Folsom). corporateBody
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associatedWith Brown, Benjamin A. person
associatedWith Brown, Gloria. person
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associatedWith Collection created by Dr. Jackson Lee Ice person
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associatedWith Forman, James, 1928-2005. person
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associatedWith Tucson Commission on Human Relations corporateBody
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associatedWith Waite, Edward F. (Edward Foote), 1860-1958. person
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associatedWith Zippert, John, 1945- person
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Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Bedford-Stuyvesant (New York, N.Y.)
New York
United States
New York (N.Y.) |x History |v Archival resources
Baltimore (Md.)
Minnesota--Minneapolis
New York (N.Y.)
New York (N.Y.)
United States
New York
United States
Minnesota
Mississippi
Mississippi
New York (N.Y.)
United States
United States
Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.) |x History |v Archival resources.
United States
Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
Harlem (New York, N.Y.)
United States
Subject
African Americans--Segregation
Police patrol--Surveillance operations
Discrimination in housing
African Americans--New York (State)--New York
Minorities--Civil rights--New York (State)--New York
African Americans--Employment--New York (State)--New York
Discrimination in employment
March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Washington, D.C., 1963
Collective bargaining
Civil rights movement
African Americans
Reformatories for women
Discrimination in public accommodations--Maryland--Cambridge
Tenants' associations--New York (State)--New York
School integration
African Americans--Civil rights--New York (State)--New York
African Americans--Political activity
Rent strikes--New York (State)--New York
Black power
Discrimination in employment--New York (State)--New York
African Americans--Education--New York (State)--New York
De facto school segregation--New York (State)--New York
Government, Resistance to--New York (State)--New York
Discrimination in housing--New York (State)--New York
Civil rights movements--New York (State)--New York
Voter registration
Race discrimination
Nonviolence
Black nationalism
African Americans--Civil rights--History--Sources
Civil rights--Societies, etc
Social integration
African Americans--Education
Civil rights demonstrations--New York (State)--New York
Civil rights workers--New York (State)--New York
Riots
Fund raising
Teachers
Demonstrations
Reunions
African Americans--Employment
Civil disobedience--New York (State)--New York
Prisons--United States
Race discrimination--New York (State)--New York
Reformatories for Women--New York (State)--New York
African Americans--Housing
Discrimination in public accommodation
African Americans--Civil rights
Police--Complaints against
Education
Occupation
Function

Corporate Body

Active 1962

Active 1966

Information

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Ark ID: w6h74548

SNAC ID: 57618814