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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.)

#12 The Struggle for Identity Among Black Activists (James Farmer's Reflections). 1987. 27min. (captioned)

In these video segments, James Farmer discusses the struggle for black activists’ identities. He explains how black Americans changed their names and standards of beauty. The search for identity was a positive force; however, it had negative consequences, including stoking a hatred of whites, a racial division within CORE, and a split in ideologies in the Civil Rights Movement. Farmer states that 1966 was when the Black Nationalist idea was born, with a speech given by Stokely Carmichael. Violence, separatism, as well as black exclusiveness, identity, and pride was growing among the black youth.

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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