James Farmer

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by byrdisca
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James Farmer

James Farmer:The man and his mission

“Racism was the belief that race has something to do with intelligence, character and morality. Racism was a concept that some races are inferior and others are superior. That’s a lie.” -James Farmer


James Farmer was born in Marshall TX, on January 20th, 1920, and grew up to be a leader in the Civil Rights movement. His mother was a teacher, and his father was a minister. He was very quick to learn, and became a freshman at Wiley College at the young age of only 14, where he participated in debate, and honed in on his skills as a public speaker. Farmer studied Ghandi, and his methods of peaceable protest, and later went on to found the civil rights organization, CORE, in 1942.

Perhaps the most notable event that Farmer influenced was the freedom rides in 1961. The first rides occured in May of that year, during which, the riders encountered a great deal of violence, including firebombings and mass arrests. Eventually, Farmer drifted away from CORE, as it strayed further away from its Gandhian roots, but he continued to speak publicly, and even made it into politics before his death in 1999.


Impact: The Freedom Rides that James Farmer helped organize shed the spotlight on the issues of race relations in the deep south. The freedom rides, and the violent reactions to them by racist southerners were all caught on camera, film, and print, and eventually, the Interstate Commerce Commission declared that segregation in public modes of transporation couldn't be allowed any longer.

Jan 20, 1920:Farmer born in TX.

May, 1942: Farmer Gets Masters degree at Wiley College.

April, 1942: CORE is founded.

1961: Farmer organizes freedom rides.

Aug, 1963: Farmer jailed in Louisianna.

1966: Farmer resigns from CORE.

Nov, 1968:Farmer runs for congress; loses.

1984: Farmer completes autobiographyLay Bare the Heart.

1984: Farmer begins teaching at UMW.

July 9, 1999:Farmer dies.

Jan 19, 1987: Farmer has heart attack.

Jan 15, 1998: Farmer awarded the medal of freedom.



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