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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.)

Course Exam Review and Q&A. 1986. 34min. (captioned)

In this lecture from James Farmer’s The Civil Rights Movement In The 20th Century class, Farmer begins by reviewing for the upcoming final exam, discussing the Council on United Civil Rights Leadership (0:00:00), the March on Washington (1:44), figures and movements in black nationalism (2:46), and Pan-Africanism (5:55). He and the class then review the major legislative accomplishments and movements within the Civil Rights Movement (8:08). At 13:22, Farmer asks the class if they have any questions, either about the exam or about the movement. He discusses the influence of the teachings of Gandhi on the nonviolent movement and the origins of CORE (14:37), then addresses CORE’s early lack of publicity in relation to the Second World War. Farmer then discusses what he sees as the Civil Rights Movement’s limitations (22:35). At 29:25, Farmer answers a question about the Reagan administration’s attempts to dismantle the work done during the Civil Rights Movement. He discusses the administration's reactions to civil rights legislation, including their opposition to numerical goals and timetables (36:30). He discusses his opposition to the idea that racial discrimination no longer exists in America (39:40). He then answers a question about whether it's possible to eliminate racism by legislative means (47:42) and the idea that people are less racist towards those they know well (52:20). (1:00:10) He concludes the lecture discussing internalized racism, the black power movement, and an encounter with Mississippi's Senator Bilbo.

Farmer, James, 1920-1999

University of Mary Washington

[Transcript] link:

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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