Brooklyn Core Oral History

A digital project from Pratt's School of Information

This archive presents the oral history of the Brooklyn chapter of CORE through recordings with key members recounting the major campaigns from 1960-1966.



These cassettes are part of the Civil Rights in Brooklyn Oral History Collection, a companion to Brooklyn Public Library's Civil Rights in Brooklyn Collection. They were donated to the Brooklyn Collection by Dr. Brian Purnell who recorded them as part of his dissertation at New York University. This collection also includes clips of earlier interviews by other researchers that were obtained by Purnell for his study. The larger Civil Rights in Brooklyn collection was compiled and donated by Rioghan Kirchner, Chair of the Focus Housing Committee in Brooklyn CORE. This collection contains both original materials documenting the work of CORE, FOCUS, and other Brooklyn groups during the 1960s, and secondary materials, especially newspaper and magazine articles from the 1960s-1980s, that refer to ongoing civil rights struggles on the national stage. Learn more about these collections and other materials at Brooklyn Public Library by visiting their finding aids!

The Brooklyn CORE Oral History Collection is a digitization project developed by students at Pratt Institute with support from staff at Brooklyn Public Library. These tapes tell the story of the Brooklyn chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality, a pivotal civil rights organization that played a central role in the early American Civil Rights Movement. Brooklyn CORE was well known for its dynamic direct action, creative media tactics, and unyielding demands for racial and economic justice. In these recordings, members of Brooklyn CORE recount how they organized against housing discrimination, segregation in public schools, racist hiring practices, and inadequate municipal services in Brooklyn in the 1960s.