SOURCE: The New Yorker
Brandon Johnson's Unlikely Leap from Labor Activist to Mayor
by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
The victory of the former teachers' union member over Paul Vallas, a career school privatizer with backing from Republicans and the police union, shows a widening rift between the centrist and left wings of the Democratic Party that is as important as the national blue-red division.
Brandon Johnson Built a Coalition to Win in Chicago. Can He Keep it to Govern?
by Gordon K. Mantler
When Brandon Johnson takes office on Monday as Chicago's mayor, he will experience the same challenge that his political predecessor Harold Washington did in 1983: turning a winning electoral coalition into a durable governing coalition. It won't be easy, but progressive change in the city depends on it.
Buried Footage Helped Chicago Police Get Away with Killing 10 Labor Activists in 1937
by Greg Mitchell
Paramount's newsreel division shot footage of the murderous attack on a steelworkers' march in 1937. They sided with the bosses by burying the footage. Even after Senator Robert LaFollette pushed for the film's release, cities banned it from the screen as Chicago prosecutors ruled the killings justifiable. A new documentary tells the story of the film.
The Police Aren't Part of Change in Chicago
by Dan Berger
A historian critiquing a recent book on Black Lives Matter argues that the political, fiscal and cultural influence of police is so broad that it's impossible to think of meaningful social reform in a society that includes modern police departments.
When a Leading Evangelist Held a Revival to Thwart Labor
by Matt Bernico
The events surrounding the 1886 Haymarket Affair, when a Chicago general strike for the 8 hour day became violent, revealed tensions present in Christianity today: what happens when Christians side with the bosses?
Claiming a Latino Place in Chicago
by Mike Amezcua
Like their African American contemporaries, ethnic Mexicans in Chicago have a long history of organizing to overturn residential segregation.
SOURCE: The Baffler
Chicago's Mayoral Race isn't Red v. Blue, but Conflicting Visions of What a City Should Be
by Martha Bayne
Schools are the center of the Chicago mayoral election, specifically the question of whether the city will invest in them as community institutions or continue down a path of privatization started by candidate Paul Vallas in the 1990s when he ran the public schools.
SOURCE: Made By History at the Washington Post
In Chicago, the Political Vibes Echo 1983, but the Politics are Different
by Gordon Mantler
Harold Washington's victory in 1983 to become the city's first Black mayor promised a new multicultural coalition politics. Forty years later, that coalition is discouraged and demobilized, and seems unlikely to challenge the entrenched interests that Washington tried to dislodge from power.
SOURCE: CBS News
Black History Month Traces to a Key Meeting in a Chicago YMCA
Chicago historian Shermann Thomas, aka "Dilla," makes the Wabash Avenue YMCA where educator Carter Woodson was inspired to launch Negro Achievement Week a centerpiece of his guided tours of Black Chicago's history.
50 Years at Cook County Hospital Prove Abortion is Healthcare
by Amy Zanoni
Abortion rights activists have focused on horror stories of the pre-Roe era as cautionary tales, but the history of public hospitals since Roe shows that real reproductive freedom requires expanded access to care and a robust social safety net.
SOURCE: The Atlantic
Taking a Longer View, the Crime Spike Isn't a Mystery, but Solutions aren't Easy Enough for Politicians
by Patrick Sharkey
Crime is a whole-society problem that is experienced locally; solutions require deep reforms and can't be subjected to the shifting attention of politicians in an election year.
SOURCE: The New Republic
Evanston, Illinois Passed a Reparations Program. Can its Liberal Present Confront the Segregated Past?
by Kari Lydersen
The Chicago suburb has focused on progams to rectify the harms caused by discrete city actions, specifically generations of housing discrimination that limited Black wealth gains from real estate. Can it make a difference? Will local taxpayers support it?
SOURCE: The Guardian
Michael Hines Recovers the Legacy of Black Educator Madeline Morgan
The pioneering educator recognized that Black students needed a curriculum that transmitted knowledge but also countered the prevailing ideology of racial hierarchy. A new biography shows how progress in education is never fully secure.
High Crimes and Lingering Consequences: How Land Sale Contracts Looted Black Wealth and Gutted Chicago Communities
by Tiff Beatty
Chicago artist Tonika Lewis Johnson is creating public installations documenting properties where Black residents were subjected to predatory contract home sales, and connecting the past to the present struggles of the city's south and west sides.
SOURCE: The Metropole
Planning For The People Y Qué? From Advocacy Planners To Hardcore Punks
by Mike Amezcua
"Punk fliers are planning documents. Not the official kind produced by city planning departments, of course, nor the grassroots plans by neighborhood activists resisting investment capital and gentrification. But these fliers contain a planning schema all the same."
SOURCE: Fox 32
Chicago's Ukrainian Community Includes Many Who Escaped WWII; They See a Repeated Nightmare
The Ukrainian community in Chicago includes many who fled either Nazi or Stalinist forces as children 80 years ago.
SOURCE: Hyde Park Herald
Chicago Landmarks Commission Authorizes $250,000 for Rehab of Muddy Waters's House
The grant advances the renovation of the house on Chicago's south side for use as a museum and educational space.
Historian Mike Amezcua on "Making Mexican Chicago"
Both industry and local realtors were key players in the development of La Villita in southwest Chicago.
SOURCE: Union of Concerned Scientists
For Black History Month, Honor the Environmental Justice Activism of Hazel Johnson
Hazel Johnson was pushed to environmental justice activism when her husband's cancer death made her aware of the toll of industrial pollution on her Chicago neighborhood. Today, it remains important to connect environmental protection and social justice.
SOURCE: Bloomberg CityLab
A Blueprint for Leadership from 1980s Chicago
by Brentin Mock
Harold Washington faced stiff resistance from his own party when he became Chicago's first Black mayor in 1983; his response stressing public infrastructure and voting rights foreshadowed the Biden administration's efforts to overcome intransigence and obstructionism.
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