12 july 1968 #throwbackthursday & i can't wait 40 seconds to be free
#OTD-ish 12 July 1968 #throwbackthursday Julius Hobson, in the hat with the Washington Congress of Racial Equality sign," was chair of CORE from 1961 to 1964. Ebony called him "the angriest man in Washington," which he apparently liked and used.
During his tenure at CORE, he is credited with organizing ~800 picket lines in front of downtown stores owned by whites who practiced racism in their employment policies. CORE was also committed to ending racism by whites who owned apartment buildings and houses. To this end, CORE instituted "dwell-ins," borrowing from the success of lunch counter sit-ins. With dwell-ins, white members of CORE rented apartments from white landlords and agents that were known to practice racism and then they signed their new apartments over to individuals and families in need of housing. One of the first dwell-ins was held circa 9 June 1963 at the Miramar Apartments (1305 15th St NW), owned by the Cafritz Co. (CORE had held a sit-in at the Cafritz office a week prior to the dwell-in.) Charles Berger sublet his efficiency apartment to Wendell Lindsay.
Another 1963 highlight was an anti-racism in housing demonstration of 500 people at the District Building. The above photograph is probably from the 15 June 1963 demonstration.
The sign held by the child reads:
I CAN WAIT "40 YEARS" TO BE PRESIDENT BUT NOT 40 SECONDS TO BE FREE
Your comments are welcome below. Do you recognize the child in the photograph? Is this Hobson's son, Julius Jr.? Were you a member of CORE with Hobson? Did you participate in the dwell-ins? Did you participate in the demonstration at the District Building? Why do you think "40 years" is in quotes in the sign? Does it strike you that this entrenched racism is only ~four years before 1968? Rent was $78.50 per month. Adjusting for inflation, I wonder how much that would be in 1968 or today? You may comment privately here.
Photo source: Courtesy DC Public Library Special Collections, DC Community Archives, Julius Hobson Papers, Collections 1, Series 21: Photographs and Oversized mats. Box 106. Photograph circa 1963. Photographer unknown.
A big thank you to archivist Derek Gray for helping me with the Julius Hobson papers. Here's the finding aid for the collection, which includes a great overview of Hobson's life and activism.
Clarence Hunter, "'Dwell-ins' to Integrate Housing Set for Spring," Evening Star 12 March 1963.
"Negroes Use 'Dwell-in' in Segregated Housing," Evening Star 9 June 1963.