Long Island CORE
Lincoln Lynch became one of eight NYC CORE leaders that made up a disproportionate percentage of the national CORE leadership during its Black Power phase.
While still an active member of LI CORE, he was replaced by the Texas born Mel Jackson (Black, 33). An electronics engineer with degrees from Howard and Northwestern Universities, he had formerly served as a youth adviser for a local NAACP.
According to Newsday, the NAACP’s thirteen chapters in Nassau and Suffolk had 5000 members that were mostly inactive. L.I. CORE had 400 members with an average of 50 people at its meetings, Suffolk County CORE had 550 and averaged 100 at meetings. During Black Power however, several local NAACP leaders left their positions like Jackson to become leaders within CORE on Long Island, usually as members of LI CORE.
Dan Hester became Jackson’s vice chairman. Other
officers included Edward Stark, Gloria Weinberg and Luenetta Miller. James
Rudd, an air force veteran of the Korean War, dropped out of LI CORE after
losing to Jackson in the election for chairman.
Don't Forget About Suffolk County CORE
Suffolk County CORE had picketed Newsday in mid-1965 for reporting former chairman Calvin Cobb was arrested for stealing money from a cousin and suspected in the loss of $275,00 of church funds during an office fire. Interestingly, LI CORE did not support the protests. Newsday over the years provided fantastic coverage of CORE in Long Island even though its editorials were often less than supportive. Managing editor Anthony Insolia was the husband of Joyce Insolia, an early member of LI CORE and officer in Suffolk County CORE.
The change had been gradual. A few months earlier, LI
CORE had started its own pre-kindergarden program as part of the federal
Operation: Head Start. A former head of a local NAACP objected to the
program as being segregated because it focused on poor Blacks. There were
a few White students, though, and staff such as LI CORE members Richard
Lowe and Annette Triquere who supervised the program.
Peace and Politiks
This was part of LI CORE’s four point program to run Blacks for town and county offices in Long Island. Mel Jackson had been accused of being a racist in Newsday because he threatened to encourage Blacks to register as independents unless both the Republican and Democratic parties included Blacks on their tickets. As he stated in the press though, “Black Power is not a slogan but a program”.
Ironically, there was a fight between Jackson and his former opponent in LI CORE James Rudd at Rev. St. Clair’s campaign office. According to Newsday, Jackson was speaking to a reporter when Rudd and another man interrupted. While Rudd escorted the reporter out the room, the other man attacked Jackson with a chair and held him against the wall with the chair’s legs. Rudd announced, ‘CORE speaks for the middle class and it is time for the little man to speak for himself”. Jackson later responded, ‘CORE is made up of little people’.
Rudd, who had also interrupted Rev. St. Clair’s
earlier press conference, was then the executive director of the village
of Hempsted’s Employment Opportunity Corporation (EOC), a privately sponsored job finding program created
‘to offset the threat of riots by finding jobs for Young Negroes’.
It was pressure from LI CORE that led to the creation of the program with