James L. Farmer, Jr.
CIVIL RIGHTS HERO
January 12, 1920 -July 9, 1999
Dr. Farmer spent his formative years dealing with the humiliation of racism. This propelled him to spend in life as an activist, civil rights leader, educator and humanist for social reform.
Memorandum to A.J. Muste (Chicago 1942)
In his memorandum, Farmer outlined his plan for nonviolent action. He set up the
infrastructure it would require, and pointed out which audiences he would target.
Organized the nation’s first sit-in (Chicago: May, 1942)
28 people – white and black – including James Farmer, Bernice Fisher, Jimmy
Robinson, Joe Guinn, Homer Jack, Bob Chino, and Hugo Victoreen (the founders of CORE) protested the policy at the Jack Spratt restaurant by means of a sit-in. Others in the restaurant, not connected to CORE, decided to join. No one ate until each person was served.
– Lay Bare the Heart
Founded (1942) and led (1961-1966) the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)
The African American Registry. (n.d).
James Farmer, educator & CORE founder! 12-6-07
Instrumental in the passage of the Civil Rights Bill and the Voting Rights Act by the U.S.
Congress (1964 & 1965)
The Dirksen Congressional Center. (n.d). Major Features of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 12-6-07
Organized the Freedom Rides to desegregate interstate bus travel in the South (1961)
Freedom Rides. (2007). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved December 4, 2007,
from Encyclopædia Britannica
Served as Assistant Secretary, U.S. Dept. of Health, Education and Welfare (1969-1970)
Va -E113 James Farmer. (2000). In Historical Markers. Retrieved December 4, 2007, from
Commonwealth of Virginia historical markers
Co-founded and led the Fund for an Open Society (Philadelphia, 1975-1999)
OPEN: Reclaiming Integration. 12/3/07,
Visiting Professor of History and American Studies (Mary Washington College. 1985-1994)
Distinguished Professor of History and American Studies (Mary Washington College, 1994-1998)
Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Clinton (January, 1998)
Multicultural Center renamed the James Farmer Multicultural Center (Mary Washington College, February, 1998)
Sang-Min Yoon (2007).
Dr. James L. Farmer, Jr. Retrieved December 4, 2007 from
Honored by the Virginia Assembly, Governor Gilmore and the Legislative Black Caucus
(Richmond, V A., February 27. 1998)
HR 324 1998 (January 26, 1998).
House Joint Legislation No. 324 Retrieved December 4, 2007 from
Recognized by Virginia Power’s “Strong Men & Women: Excellence in Leadership” (January. 1999)
Wilson, A. (2007).
Who Is James Farmer. In James Farmer Scholars.
Retrieved December 4, 2007, from
Commencement honoree, (Howard University. Washington, D.C., May, 1999)
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