Other CORE Chapters
This section deals with the history of the other chapters in the NYC metropolitan area. Many of these chapters did not last long and there isn't much information available on them. The size of each chapter's description in comparison to the other NYC core chapters should not be taken to suggest that they are any more or less significant than any other chapter.
Some of these include:
Mount Vernon CORE
Mount Vernon is a city in Westchester County just above the Bronx. While not a part of New York City (NYC) proper, it is considered part of the New York metropolitan area. To native 'new yawkers', because of its historic closeness, Mount Vernon is often referred to, like Yonkers, as a sixth borough.
During the 1960's, Mount Vernon was literally divided by race to the extent that Blacks lived on one side of the railroad tracks and Whites lived on the other. According to a May 4, 1966 press release from CORE, Blacks were about 20,000 of the total population of 80,000. 70% of the 'non-domestic minority workers' had to go to NYC or other nearby cities to find work.
A letter from then field secretary Herb Callender to the CORE chapters listed many of the other racial problems in Mount Vernon: its mayor had barred Blacks 'from his office except those he deems worthy of talking with him'; constant police brutality against Blacks; families on welfare were being evicted to the extent that children were put out in the snow by city marshals while the parents were at work; the local Board of Education (BOE) not only refused to desegregate its schools, Blacks were constantly insulted at BOE meetings.
A May 3, 1966 letter from associate national director Lincoln Lynch to national director Floyd Mckissick stated that in terms of the issue of education "...Mount Vernon is likely to be the most important area in the north as far as CORE is involved."
A July, 1965 meeting between the chapter and Mr. Yannantuono, the president of Mount Vernon's BOE spoke to what was going on between the two opposing sides over the issue of race and the local public schools. Yannantuono was said to have made classically racist statements (referred to as 'observations') during the meeting, among which were:
Cliff Brown (Black), a Westchester County probation officer, was Mount Vernon CORE's education chair. During a November, 1965 BOE meeting Brown led the coalition of opposition groups in singing freedom songs as protest against the BOE's failure to deal with the schools' integration problem. As the meeting got increasingly 'tumultuous', Brown stated he wanted to come down to the stage and spit on the board members. The president of the BOE had made another racist remark in stating the main reason for Black people's educational problems was they 'lacked culture'.
The Times reported CORE's national director James Farmer condemned the remark as 'intolerable'. Farmer equally blasted the actions of the BOE in delaying integration in Mount Vernon's public schools and insisted on investigating the context Brown's statements were made in.