Interview with Gordon Carey
QUESTION 1
INTERVIEWER:

CORE AND THE FELLOWSHIP OF RECONCILIATION WERE STAGING PROTESTS AGAINST JIM CROW IN THE NORTH IN THE FORTIES AND FIFTIES. I WONDER COULD YOU TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE HISTORICAL CONNECTION BETWEEN THOSE EARLIER PROTESTS AND THE ONES IN THE SIXTIES.

Gordon Carey:

Well, I guess the—when CORE first began it began in Chicago. It was started by a group of pacifists, socialists, predominantly white group of intellectuals, and of course at that time all of the public facilities in Chicago and most throughout, throughout most of the north, restaurants and barber shops, roller skating rinks were all segregated. And they were essential trying to apply Gandhi and move, Gandhian tactics to the ending of these kinds of racial barriers. The movement, actually what I call the movement, it wasn't one, but the CORE activities in those days were actually quite successful and they managed to integrate a lot of restaurants and this sort of thing. But it wasn't until many years later when suddenly in the South, that this sort of thing became—it was inspired by some of the things in the North, but it was more inspired I think by the Montgomery Bus Boycott and some of the things that Dr. Martin Luther King was doing. And then the, some of the tacticians from this earlier stage in the forties and fifties went South and began to work with the students and others in the South who were doing this. So there is no really no direct connection except that they were sort of merged through a tactical approach, and through the kind of Gandhian and non-violent discipline that the old CORE types were able to bring to this movement in the South. I myself for example grew up in a family, my father was a pacifist, he was a Methodist minister and he was a member of CORE in Grand Rapids, Michigan. As a matter of fact chairman of a small CORE chapter there way back in the in the forties. So I kind of grew up in CORE. I first met James Farmer when I was thirteen years old. That's forty years ago.