Established civil rights leaders

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In 1963, the established leaders Handler is referring to included Martin Luther King and Bayard Rustin of the Southern Christian Leader-ship Conference (SCLC); James Farmer of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), A. Philip Randolph, Whitney M. Young, executive director of the National Urban League, and Roy Wilkins of the National Association of Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). These were men who pushed for full integration of African Americans into white society. By definition, a penumbra is a partial shadow similar to the way the moon looks when it's undergoing an eclipse. Handler compares this partial shadow with the men and women involved in other aspects of the social struggle. These political organizers were "underground," so to speak because they were less well known and deliberately maintained a low profile. Nevertheless, they made significant contributions through sustained contact with the "grassroots." -- EB The American Heritage Dictionary