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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.)

#13 Illiteracy and the Center for Community Action Education (James Farmer's Reflections). 1987. 29min. (captioned)

In these video segments, James Farmer discusses what he considered to be a major step forward in the Civil Rights Movement. He created a proposal for Federal funding towards education reform, which would decrease illiteracy across the country. It was created by the collaborative effort of the major Civil Rights leaders under the Center for Community Action Education. Once the Office of Economic Opportunity accepted the proposal, he resigned as national director of CORE and headed the Center for Community Action Education to pursue the illiteracy proposal. However, the media interfered and after internal drama, Farmer states that the education reform eventually “went down the drain, politically.”

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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