Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Congress of Racial Equality

CORE was founded in 1942 by a group of civil rights activists, only two of whom were black (James Farmer and George Houser). Very active in the Freedom Rides of 1961, the desegregation of Chicago schools, the organization of the Freedom Summer campaign, and the 1963 March on Washington, CORE members were strongly committed to the principles of nonviolence. By 1951, there were 53 chapters. In June 1964, three CORE activists were murdered by the Klan in Mississippi. Since 1968, CORE has been led by Roy Innis, and the organization has become more conservative with time. During the civil rights movement, it was considered one of the “Big Four” leadership organizations (along with SCLC, SNCC, and NAACP).