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Swahili word meaning to pull or work together; Known as a Kenyan motto meant to encourage self help and nation building; Congress of Racial Equality borrowed the concept for its black power project in Cleveland.


Swahili word meaning to display or lay out wares; to speak out; to spread out; to unpack




Scan the QR code for a 3D Summary about Harambee City

Harambee City: Congress of Racial Equality in Cleveland and the Rise of Black Power Populism, summarizes CORE history from early formation to the 1970s,  the website expands public understanding about CORE, black power, community organization, and economic development through access to primary sources, teacher resources, and mapping. It also acts to recover and extend access for future scholars and other interested persons.

African American Studies, public history, and oral history methodologies played central roles in  the recovery of this fairly unknown period in CORE's existence.  However, this approach also required a philosophical embrace of  power sharing and open access during and after historical  production. This process eventually became a model for intersecting Black Scholarship and Digital Humanities.

Harambee City illustrates this philosophy through:

1. Broad Accessibility (not everyone will know or read the book)

2. Providing a second layer of learning through open access to primary sources  and teacher lesson plans

3. Power sharing - commentary/exchange on the website

4. Community organization training



Fifty years ago, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) issued a  declaration for black power. This pivotal moment shaped the  organization's direction toward black economic development and opened new doors to government and community partnerships.  

Jomo Kenyatta, first Prime Minister of independent Kenya, adopted  "Harambee" as a concept meant to inspire community projects and  initiate   national development. It is not clear how CORE was inspired by the Kenyan model. However, the organization embraced the idea for its own purposes and the term became a conceptual framework for its community economic development work in Cleveland, Ohio.

Harambee City, both this site and the corresponding book, uncovers and examines this part of CORE's history. Harambee City: Congress of Racial Equality in Cleveland and the Rise of Black Power Populism is a monograph that explores the underlining conditions that led to Black Power’s rise in CORE and Cleveland’s relationship to this transition.

My book corrects the organization's early history, reasserts the      powerful and positive contributions of black power within the  organization, and challenges previous assertions by historians that its leadership rubber-stamped Richard Nixon's black capitalism concept.