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James Farmer and the Freedom Rides

Portrait of James Farmer

James L. Farmer, Jr. was one of the foremost leaders of the American civil rights movement. He was a founder of the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE), the organizer of the 1961 Freedom Rides, and a steadfast advocate for the principle of nonviolent resistance. Farmer taught in the History and American Studies Department at Mary Washington College between 1984 and 1998. In Farmer’s final year at Mary Washington, President Bill Clinton awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. Farmer passed away in 1999 at the age of 79. The University of Mary Washington honors Farmer’s legacy with the James Farmer Multicultural Center and the James Farmer Scholars Program. In April 2001, the University erected a bust of Farmer on Campus Walk.

This LibGuide is designed to help you find information about James Farmer's life and work. It is presented in conjunction with UMW’s 50th Anniversary Commemoration of James Farmer and the Freedom Rides. UMW Libraries encourages everyone to use the resources listed here to learn about James Farmer’s outstanding life and achievements.

Photograph of James Farmer courtesy of the UMW Digital Archives. © University of Mary Washington.