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The James Farmer Collection

The James L. Farmer Collection includes a selection of images and audio-visual materials featuring James Farmer from Simpson Library's Special Collections and University Archives. Farmer was the founder of the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE), the organizer of the 1961 Freedom Rides, and a steadfast advocate for the principle of nonviolent resistance. James Farmer served as a professor in the History and American Studies Department at Mary Washington College from 1985 to 1998 and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, in 1998. (Special Collections and University Archives, Simpson Library, University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, VA.)

#1 Freedom Movement of the 1940’s-1960’s (James Farmer's Reflections). 1987. 27min. (captioned)

In these video segments, James Farmer discusses the causes of the American Civil Rights Movement. He credits the Movement’s creation and spread to the importance of television in highlighting the movement; the return of soldiers who fought Hitler’s racist ideology in World War II; Brown vs. The Board of Education; and the emergence of new nations in Africa. In addition, Farmer explains how the movement towards non-violence did not start in the 1960s, but in the 1940s.

Farmer, James, 1920-1999
University of Mary Washington


Rights: Copyright is retained by Special Collections and University Archives, Simpson Library, University of Mary Washington. This item is available for use in research, teaching, and private study. Items may not be reproduced or used for any commercial purposes without prior written consent from the University of Mary Washington.

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