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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.)

#2 The Beginning of the Nonviolence Movement of the 1940’s-1960’s (James Farmer's Reflections). 1987. 26min. (captioned)

In these video segments, James Farmer explains the beginning of the nonviolence movement to end segregation in the United States. He explains his study of Henry David Thoreau, but more importantly Gandhi and Krishnalal Shridharani, whom Farmer read voraciously. Farmer also tells the story of his first sit-ins with the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).

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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