What Did The Congress Of Racial Equality Do?

By Antonia Čirjak on June 16 2020 in Society

Image credit: socialwelfare.library.vcu.edu
Image credit: socialwelfare.library.vcu.edu
  • The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) is an organization that fights for the civil rights of African-American people in the United States and is known for playing an important role in the Civil Rights Movement during the 1950s and the 1960s.
  • Some of the founding members of CORE were George Houser, James L. Farmer, and Bernice Fisher. Of the original 50 members, one-third was black, while the others were white.
  • Together, they created nonviolent campaigns to end the Jim Crow laws and segregation across the United States, as well as workplace discrimination. They also joined in the fight for voting rights of African-Americans.
  • The Chicago chapter of CORE was also extremely active and is best known for its attempts to desegregate the schools in the city.

The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) is an organization that fights for the civil rights of African-American people in the United States and is known for playing an important role in the Civil Rights Movement during the 1950s and the 1960s. This congress was founded in 1942, and its goal was to bring equality to everyone, regardless of race, sex, creed, age, sexual orientation, ethnic background, or religion.

Some of the founding members of CORE were George Houser, James L. Farmer, and Bernice Fisher. Of the original 50 members, one-third was black, while the others were white. They were inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings and wanted to use nonviolent methods to end segregation.

The Freedom Rides

Starting off, CORE organized chapters across the country that held monthly meetings of their members. They used democratic elections to choose the members of their special committees as well as officers. Together, they created nonviolent campaigns to end the Jim Crow laws and segregation across the United States, as well as workplace discrimination.

They also joined in the fight for voting rights of African-Americans. Another area where they showed extreme passion was school segregation, as well as discrimination in housing.

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One of the first actions performed by CORE was Freedom Rides in the 1940s. Image credit: terraincognita.com

At the start of the 1960s, CORE had 53 chapters all over the United States, with almost every one of the large urban centers having one. Many chapters could be found on college campuses. One of the first actions performed by CORE was Freedom Rides in the 1940s. They sent a group of eight white and eight black people on a two-week journey through several states to spread awareness and end segregation in travel between states.

This garnered large amounts of publicity, and the phrase Freedom Rides was coined later on when it was attempted again in 1961. This time the members of CORE traveled further south but were met with violence and beaten by a group of white people. Freedom Riders in other parts of the U.S. were also attacked.

School Segregation

The Chicago chapter of CORE was also extremely active and is best known for its attempts to desegregate the schools in the city. Chicago schools were heavily segregated in the 1960s, and this caused many problems. A lot of the schools in Chicago were overcrowded due to children being forced to go into specific schools based on their race.

Students were dropping out before finishing schools because everything was poorly organized, and many teachers were inexperienced. CORE wrote many letters appealing to the government to improve the conditions of these schools. They started teaching the community ways that they can use to challenge segregation and try to go around the school policies.

CORE also played a significant role in the March on Washington in 1963. This march is best known for the legendary “I Have a Dream” speech that was delivered by Martin Luther King Jr., and its effect on racial segregation in the United States. This march aimed to fight for equal economic and civil rights of African-Americans. There were more than 200,000 people that attended the march, many of whom were CORE members. It is considered to be one of the biggest political marches for human rights in history.

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