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.

Browse Items (13 total)

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Sonny Carson was drawn to the chapter’s militant and dramatic tactics during the Downstate protest. Carson became a regular at meetings in 1964-1965 and recruited new members who were young, black, radical and influenced by black nationalism. He…

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WWII veteran and skilled construction laborer, Gilbert Banks joined CORE during the Ebinger’s campaign because of the extreme difficulty he experienced getting unionized construction jobs.

In this recording, Banks discusses his early life in…

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Rioghan Kirchner joined CORE after reading about its housing campaigns in the local newspapers. She expected she would be doing clerical work, but ended up becoming one of their white testers. Her first experience as a white tester was a disaster but…

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Arnold Goldwag joined CORE in the early 1960s when he was a student at Brooklyn College. He was part of CORE’s first sympathy strikes at Woolworths, Ebinger’s demonstrations and actions at Downstate. He became a central member of the group and in…

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Elaine Bibuld joined Brooklyn CORE in 1962 during Operation Clean Sweep. She is best known for fighting inadequacy due to racial bias in the public school system. With Brooklyn CORE, she organized, a campaign against racial segregation in Brooklyn…

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Msemanji and Nandi Weusi, formerly known as Maurice and Winnie Fredericks, became involved with Brooklyn CORE in the early 1960s. While walking on Fulton Street, they notice a group of people outside Woolworth's demonstrating and met Oliver &…

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Radio personality and community activist Bob Law was born and raised in Bed-Stuy. He joined CORE in 1962 when he was a student at Pratt University. He and his friends were impressed with CORE’s innovative tactics during their housing integration…

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Edith Diamond was an African American woman who worked with Marjorie Leeds on the sales floor of a department store in 1940. As part of Brooklyn CORE, Edith and Marjorie conducted apartment testing together. Edith discusses how the landlords were…

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In the fall of 1960, when Elaine and Jerome’s Crown Heights apartment was destroyed in a fire, they moved their family from a mixed-income area with a progressive public school (PS 167) to lower income Park Slope were the academic standards of the…

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Originally from Tennessee, Congressman Owns came into Brooklyn CORE when he was working as a librarian in the Brooklyn Public Library. Congressman Major Owens joined CORE in 1960 and acted as the chairman of CORE from 1965-1966 after the Worlds Fair…
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