The Chicago Freedom Movement: Martin Luther King Jr. and Civil Rights Activism in the North

The Chicago Freedom Movement: Martin Luther King Jr. and Civil Rights Activism in the North


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Six months after the Selma to Montgomery marches and just weeks after the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a group from Martin Luther King Jr.'s staff arrived in Chicago, eager to apply his nonviolent approach to social change in a northern city. Once there, King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) joined the locally based Coordinating Council of Community Organizations (CCCO) to form the Chicago Freedom Movement. The open housing demonstrations they organized eventually resulted in a controversial agreement with Mayor Richard J. Daley and other city leaders, the fallout of which has historically led some to conclude that the movement was largely ineffective.

In this important volume, an eminent team of scholars and activists offer an alternative assessment of the Chicago Freedom Movement's impact on race relations and social justice, both in the city and across the nation. Building upon recent works, the contributors reexamine the movement and illuminate its lasting contributions in order to challenge conventional perceptions that have underestimated its impressive legacy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813166506
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
Publication date: 04/05/2016
Series: Civil Rights and the Struggle for Black Equality in the Twentieth Century Series
Pages: 510
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Mary Lou Finley is a sociologist and professor emeritus at Antioch University Seattle and coauthor of Doing Democracy: the MAP Model for Organizing Social Movements.

Bernard LaFayette Jr., former Distinguished Senior Scholar in Residence at Emory University's Candler School of Theology, is the chair of the national board of SCLC, and author of In Peace and Freedom: My Journey in Selma.

James R. Ralph Jr. is Rehnquist Professor of American History and Culture at Middlebury College and author of Northern Protest: Martin Luther King, Jr., Chicago and the Civil Rights Movement.

Pam Smith is a public historian and longtime Chicago consultant who served as a senior press aide to Jesse Jackson in his 1988 presidential campaign and to Barack Obama in his primary campaign for the US Senate. She is Executive Director of the Addie Wyatt Center for Nonviolence Training in Chicago.

Table of Contents

Foreword Clayborne Carson ix

List of Abbreviations xiii

Introduction Mary Lou Finley Bernard LaFayette Jr. James R. Ralph Jr. Pam Smith 1

Part 1 Living the Chicago Freedom Movement

1 In Their Own Voices: The Story of the Movement as Told by the Participants James R. Ralph Jr. Mary Lou Finley 13

Part 2 Background and History

2 Interpreting the Chicago Freedom Movement: The Last Fifty Years James R. Ralph Jr. 83

3 Toward the Apex of Civil Bights Activism: Antecedents of the Chicago Freedom Movement, 1965-1966 Christopher Robert Reed 100

Part 3 The Impact of the Chicago Freedom Movement

4 The Chicago Freedom Movement and the Federal Fair Housing Act Leonard S. Rubinowitz 115

5 The Leadership Council for Metropolitan Open Communities: Chicago and Fair Housing Brian White 131

6 The North Shore Summer Project: "We're Gonna Open up the Whole North Shore" Gail Schechter 154

7 Tenant Unions during the Chicago Freedom Movement: Innovation and Impact Herman Jenkins 182

8 The Chicago Freedom Movement and the Fight for Fair Lending Mary Lou Finley 207

9 Martin Luther King's Legacy in North Lawndale: The Dr. King Legacy Apartments and Memorial District Kimberlie Jackson 228

10 The Movement Didn't Stop Jesse L. Jackson Sr. 236

11 Perspectives on the Legacy of Jesse L. Jackson Sr. Al Sharpton 255

12 The Rise of Independent Black Political Power in Chicago Don Rose 263

13 Roots of the Environmental Justice Movement: A Community Mobilizes to End Childhood Lead Poisoning Sherrilynn J. Bevel 274

14 Youth and Nonviolence: Then and Now Pam Smith 292

Part 4 Stories from the Chicago Freedom Movement

15 Music and the Movement I: Music and Grassroots Organizing Jimmy Collier Allegra Malone 327

16 Music and the Movement II: Music for an Urban Movement Gene Barge Allegra Malone 343

17 Women in the Movement I: The Women of SCLC-WSCP Take Action Molly Martindale 351

18 Women in the Movement II: Dorothy Gautreaux Hal Baron 369

19 Labor and the Chicago Freedom Movement Gil Cornfield Melody Heaps Norman Hill 373

Part 5 Lessons Learned and the Unfinished Work

20 Nonviolence and the Chicago Freedom Movement Bernard LaFayette Jr. 389

21 Movement Success: The Long View Mary Lou Finley 407

Epilogue: Nonviolence Remix and Today's Millennials Jonathan Lewis 435

Acknowledgments 443

Chronology 447

Selected Bibliography 451

List of Contributors 459

Index 465

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