In July 1963, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) sent a task force to Plaquemine, Louisiana, to initiate a voter registration drive, responding to the request of a local schoolteacher and activist for help. The summer drive was documented in Louisiana Diary, broadcast March 16, 1964, on National Educational Television. In these excerpts, Ronnie Moore, CORE’s field secretary for Louisiana, explains that through voter registration, they hope to achieve laws to protect African Americans from violence and ensure justice and fair law enforcement. CORE executive director James Farmer (1920–1999), who speaks to activists in one excerpt, arrived in Plaquemine in August for a mass march to City Hall after demands were ignored by officials. Farmer’s arrest at the march prevented him from attending the March on Washington.
Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division. Courtesy Thirteen Productions LLC, WNET