Chicago Chapter, Congress of Racial Equality Archives
Finding Aid: Chicago Chapter, Congress of Racial Equality Archives
Repository: Chicago Public Library, Carter G. Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature
The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) was one of the most important civil rights organizations in twentieth century United States; it is arguably most celebrated for its organization of the Freedom Rides of 1961. CORE was founded in 1942 in Chicago by African American and white student activists and members of Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR), a pacifist group founded by Quakers and Episcopalians during World War I. Its members were committed to the use of nonviolent direct action, such as sit-ins, picket lines, and freedom rides, to assault segregation in public accommodations, housing, education, and employment.
The Chicago Chapter of CORE had success integrating several Chicago public accommodations and recreational areas, including the White City Roller Rink in 1946. It also mounted campaigns against the Chicago Board of Education to protest the installation of mobile classrooms as a solution for overcrowded African American schools and demand the full integration of public schools; to eliminate slum housing and desegregate housing; and to end employment discrimination.
The Chicago Chapter of CORE Archives at the Chicago Public Library, Carter G. Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature contains the papers of Chicago CORE, its Southside chapter, Metropolitan CORE, and National CORE. It includes interviews, correspondence, flyers, programs, new clippings, and photographs.