CORE in Brooklyn: A Small Army on the Move (April 21, 1964)


“‘We have a hymn—Like a Mighty Army Moves the Church. Brooklyn CORE is not a mighty army. It’s a small army — but it moves.’ The speaker was the Rev. Dr. Milton A. Galamison, who vowed last summer never to work again with the Brooklyn Chapter of the Congress of Ra­cial Equality. Now he explains that old disagreement — an an­cient one as time is measured in the civil rights movement—by saying, ‘It’s impossible to have a militant group that’s composed of people who are al­ways controllable.’ This, precisely, was the re­cent experience of James Farm­er, CORE’s national director. Mr. Farmer objected to the Brooklyn chapter’s plan to tie up traffic on the opening day of the World’s Fair and sus­pended the chapter when it re­fused to relinquish the idea. Mayor Wagner also objected, as did a number of Senators and, finally, the President. But Brooklyn CORE has been im­placable, with a result that to­morrow this city may experi­ence its greatest traffic jam. ‘I think some of them would just as soon be dead as unful­filled in this society,’ says the Rev. Dr. Gardner Taylor, an­other Brooklyn minister who was allied with the chapter last summer in demonstrations against discrimination in the building trades union. It was the failure of those demonstrations and the two school boycotts that Dr. Galamison called earlier this year that led to the idea of the stall‐in. There is no point, the young Brooklynites reason, in re‐enacting old failures. Their new tactic, many ob­servers believe, is something new in the civil rights move­ment. It inconveniences the whole community, not just spe­cific targets within it. The command headquarters for the demonstration is a store­front office above a barber shop at 319 Nostrand Avenue in the heart of Bedford‐Stuyvesant. Its walls are papered with ‘Free­dom Now’ posters, maps of the fair, maps of Brooklyn and copies of protest telegrams that have been dispatched to one echelon after another of what their authors invariably call ‘the power structure.’ …”
NY Times
Present Tense, Future Perfect: Protest and Progress at the 1964 World’s Fair (Video)
W – Milton Galamison

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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