FREEDOM-WHEN? by James Farmer


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There is a curious commingling of threat and promise in this series of reflections by the director of CORE. He pictures his organization as holding an ever decreasing middle ground where means-oriented idealists and ends-oriented militants meet and sees it as moving from a middle class organization created to serve Negroes to a mass movement, a Negro organization itself. The ""mood ebony"" has taken over, the Southern Negro has access to arms. This is in contrast to Farmer's greatest fear, that the momentum in the South will be lost and that ""the Negro will drift again to the back of the bus."" Farmer acknowledges not only the personal element of discrimination but the impersonal forces of an automating economy, is for political education, economic self help programs and particularly the catch-up boost for the Negro. He assesses the African leaders he has met, suggests an economic boycott of South Africa, looks to the day when the American Negro will have as much effect on foreign affairs as other ethnic groups, many far smaller, now do. He maintains a precarious equilibrium between the forces of racism and reason, and one wonders just how the elements of conscious purpose and control, or loss of it, interplay. Farmer's position in the civil rights picture gives his views importance.

Pub Date: Feb. 18th, 1966
Publisher: Random House