James Farmer

Died aged c. 79

James Leonard Farmer Jr. (January 12, 1920 – July 9, 1999) was an American civil rights activist and leader in the Civil Rights Movement "who pushed for nonviolent protest to dismantle segregation, and served alongside Martin Luther King Jr." He was the initiator and organizer of the first Freedom Ride in 1961, which eventually led to the desegregation of interstate transportation in the United States. In 1942, Farmer co-founded the Committee of Racial Equality in Chicago along with George Houser, James R. Robinson, Samuel E. Riley, Bernice Fisher, Homer Jack, and Joe Guinn. It was later called the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), and was dedicated to ending racial segregation in the United States through nonviolence. Farmer served as the national chairman from 1942 to 1944. By the 1960s, Farmer was known as "one of the Big Four civil rights leaders in the 1960s, together with King, NAACP chief Roy Wilkins and Urban League head Whitney Young."

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Family tree

Commemorated on 1 plaque

Texas Historical Marker #15236

James L. Farmer, Jr. (Jan. 12, 1920-Jul. 9, 1999) Civil rights leader James Leonard Farmer, Jr., son of Pearl (Houston) and Dr. James L. Farmer, Sr., lived here as a child from 1925-30. James, Sr. taught at Samuel Huston College (now Huston-Tillotson University). In 1942, James, Jr. founded the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), which trained civil rights leaders in Ghandi-inspired nonviolent civil disobedience tactics to protest racial discrimination. Under Farmer's leadership, CORE organized the 1961 "Freedom Riders" to desegregate interstate transportation in the Deep South. Farmer was an Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Deparment of Health, Education, and Welfare (1969-1970). He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998. (2008) #15236

1604 New York Ave., Austin, TX, United States where they lived (1925-1930)