Más contenido relacionado


3.23.23 The Chicago Freedom Movement and Urban Uprisings.pptx

  1. The Chicago Freedom Movement and Urban Uprisings
  2. The War on Poverty* • Aimed to correct institutional forces at root of economic inequality. • Invested $3 billion from 1964 to 1966. • Created the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) to oversee a variety of Community-Based Action Programs (CAPs) to promote the “maximum feasible participation” of poor Americans in anti-poverty efforts. • Established long-standing anti-poverty programs like VISTA, Head Start, Job Corps, Upward Bound, and Food Stamps. • Implemented education reforms, job training, and community development efforts. • Est. Medicaid and Medicare, providing health insurance to poor families and Americans ages 65 and over. • Elementary and Secondary Education Act aimed to level the educational playing field by working to ensure that urban and rural schoolchildren had access to educational resources comparable to those enjoyed by suburban school children by allocating additional federal funds to poor school districts. *This slide is for your information. You will not be tested on these details.
  3. Civil Unrest and Urban Uprisings Newark, New Jersey, July 14, 1967. Neal Boenzi—New York Times Co. / Getty Images
  4. Historical Context of Racial Injustice in Cities Outside the South • Black Southerners continued to arrive in northern cities as part of the Great Migration. • Deindustrialization in the steel, auto, and consumer goods industries decreased the number of unskilled and semiskilled industrial jobs open to new migrants, as industries moved to the South or overseas where unions were weak and labor costs were low. Skilled professional jobs moved to the suburbs while housing policies largely confined Black Americans, esp. the poor and working classes, in urban centers with few employment opportunities. • White flight and urban divestment brought the deterioration of public schools, and the erection of highways connecting the commercial centers of major cities with white suburbs destroyed many Black communities on top of which the highways were built.
  5. Historical Context of Racial Injustice in Cities Outside the South (cont’d) • Public housing projects continued to be constructed in poor Black neighborhoods, contributing to the spatialization and racialization of poverty. • Activists began thinking and talking about racism as structural rather than interpersonal; racial injustice persisted as a result of systems and policies, not merely the prejudices of individual white Americans. • In the second half of the 1960s, largescale violence broke out in more than 300 cities and towns in the U.S., typically precipitated by an act of police brutality or aggression.
  6. Major Rebellions During the 1960s • Harlem, NY (Jul 16-22, 1964): began with police shooting of 15 year- old Black boy; first major urban uprising of the 1960s. • Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA (Aug 11-16, 1965): began with arrest of two Black men; 34 people killed; $35-40 million worth of property destroyed. • Newark, NJ (Jul 12-17, 1967): began with arrest and beating of a Black cab driver; initial response targeted the police station; 26 killed, 727 injured, 1465 arrested. • Detroit, MI (Jul 23-28, 1967): began with police raid of afterhours club in Black neighborhood; 43 killed, 2000 wounded, 5000 homes destroyed by fire. How did these uprisings compare to the race riot in Chicago in 1919 and the race massacre in Tulsa in 1921?
  7. (20 Aug 1965) Uprising in Watts, Los Angeles
  8. A year after the Watts uprising, Bayard Rustin, architect of the 1963 March on Washington, wrote, “the uprising of the Watts Negroes brought out in the open, as no other aspect of the Negro protest has done, the despair and hatred that continue to brew in the Northern ghettoes despite the civil-rights legislation of recent years and the advent of ‘the war on poverty.’…[T]he whole point of the outbreak in Watts was that it marked the first major rebellion of Negroes against their own masochism and was carried on with the express purpose of asserting that they would no longer quietly submit to the deprivation of slum life.”
  9. King and the SCLC Go North (1966) While touring northern cities in 1966, King remarked, “I am appalled that some people feel that the civil rights struggle is over because we have a 1964 civil rights bill with ten titles and a voting rights bill. Over and over again people ask, What else do you want? They feel that everything is alright. Well, let them look around at our big cities.” King and the SCLC were invited by Al Raby of the local Coordinating Council of Community Organizations (CCCO) to come to Chicago to bring attention to the issues facing Black residents in the urban North. James Bevel and Diane Nash of the SCLC had already begun work there. The initial focus of the campaign would be to combat segregated schools, employment discrimination, and housing inequality. King saw Chicago as the first test of whether nonviolence could be effective in addressing racial injustice outside the South. In late January 1966, King moved with his family to an apartment on the South side of Chicago. According to the Chicago Tribune, King stated, “We don’t have wall-to-wall carpeting to worry about, but we have wall- to-wall rats and roaches.” King called for “the unconditional surrender of forces dedicated to the creation and maintenance of slums.”
  10. Chicago Prior to the Freedom Movement • Black population of 800,000, which had grown by 300,000 between 1950 and 1960. Nearly a quarter of the city’s residents were Black. • About 40 percent of Black Chicagoans were first- or second-generation Mississippians, Southern migrants who typically were familiar with and appreciative of the movement’s work in the South. • The city was run by a liberal mayor, Democrat Richard J. Daley, who operated a political machine that demanded strict loyalty. Rates of Black participation in city government were high. • Chicago was the most thoroughly segregated large city in the U.S., the result of decades-long discriminatory housing policies and practices. • Don Rose, press secretary for the Chicago Freedom Movement, later recalled, “The original concept was a campaign to end slums, by which [King] meant not just housing but slum schools, slum work, slum health care and of course lines of segregation all around the city.”
  11. Restrictive Housing Covenants Established in the 1920s in the early years of the Great Migration, these contractual agreements specified that a white property owner could not sell or rent to Black residents. Restrictive covenants were ruled unconstitutional (and therefore legally unenforceable) by the Supreme Court in Shelby v. Kramer (1948) but their influence continued. Discriminatory Housing Practices
  12. A Home Owners’ Loan Corporation map of Chicago. Source: Mapping Inequality: Redlining in New Deal America Redlining This financing practice refers to a Federal Housing Association (FHA) policy which began in the 1930s that refused to insure mortgages in or near predominantly Black neighborhoods. Banks drew color-coded maps that marked the “stability” associated with specific neighborhoods. Predominantly Black neighborhoods were colored red, indicating that they were a financial “risk,” making it difficult for buyers to secure mortgages in those areas. At the same time, the FHA subsidized construction of mass-produced housing outside cities on the condition that it only be available to white buyers.
  13. Contract Sales This financing practice required Black homebuyers to make a large down payment and large monthly payments at high interest rates. The buyer was responsible for taxes and the cost of upkeep, but accrued no equity in the home and did not own it until the full term of the contract was paid. A missed payment could result in eviction with a loss of all money invested to that point. In Chicago during the 1950s and 1960s, 75 to 95 percent of Black home buyers bought on contract, paying an average of 84 percent above market value for their property (Source: “The Plunder of Black Wealth in Chicago,” 2019). Many Black families bought on contract because they were denied traditional FHA mortgages by the practice of redlining.
  14. Blockbusting The real estate practice of selling a home in a white neighborhood to a Black family, then stoking fear among white residents that their property values would decrease so they would sell quickly at a loss. Realtors then sold those properties at hugely inflated prices to Black residents. In effect, the arrival of Black residents actually made property values go up, because they were often willing to pay more than market value for a home because these discriminatory practices severely limited their choice of housing. (1962)
  15. Durham, North Carolina, 1959. Steering A real estate practice of determining which properties to show a client based on their race.
  16. Contemporary image of the Chicago freeway system looking North toward the city from the South side, which is predominantly Black.
  17. The FHA encouraged the construction of freeways between Black and white neighborhoods to clearly delineate between neighborhoods that were “good” investments and those that were “at risk” (redlined). Pictured on the right side of the image is the Robert Taylor Homes, a public housing complex opened in 1962.
  18. Public Housing During World War II, public housing was built to address a housing shortage exacerbated by the arrival of workers seeking jobs in the booming defense industries. Therefore, public housing was created to address housing shortages among the working class rather than to provide housing for the poor. Through the mid-20th century, public housing in Chicago was racially segregated. At the same time, federal housing policies made it possible for working class white people to purchase homes in the suburbs, creating many openings in white public housing units, while those same policies created high demand and long waiting periods for placement in public housing open to Black residents. Meanwhile, major industries began leaving urban centers like Chicago and Detroit. As well-paying unionized jobs left major cities, Black residents with few other housing options were increasingly concentrated in public housing complexes in central cities.
  19. The Robert Taylor Homes In 1962, the Robert Taylor Homes opened in Chicago. Comprised of twenty-eight high rise buildings, each 16-stories tall, the complex stretched for two miles, containing more than 4400 public housing units. By the mid-1960s, 96 percent of residents were Black. Initially celebrated as promising a higher standard of living and better opportunities as compared to the dilapidated and overpriced housing available in most primarily Black neighborhoods, the Robert Taylor Homes and other public housing projects like Cabrini- Green came to symbolize the failures of urban planning and the harmful consequences of the geographic concentration of poverty.
  20. Chicago Freedom Rally aka “Freedom Sunday” Soldier Field (10 Jul 1966)
  21. Some 30,000 people gathered for the Chicago Freedom Rally, where King declared, “We are here because we’re tired of living in rat-infested slums. We are tired of having to pay a median rent of $97 a month in Lawndale for four rooms while whites in South Deering pay $73 a month for five rooms… We are tired of being lynched physically in Mississippi, and we are tired of being lynched spiritually and economically in the North.” After the rally, King led a march to City Hall, where he posted a list of the movement’s demands on the door. These included that housing listings and financing policies operate on a non-discriminatory basis, that services and conditions in public housing be improved, and that measures be taken to correct employment discrimination and school segregation by calling on the federal government to enforce the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  22. On July 12, police clashed with Black youth who had opened a fire hydrant to provide some relief from the summer heat. As police pursued a Black man suspected of involvement in the incident, a crowd gathered and some stores were damaged or robbed. The following night the unrest continued, and Mayor Daley sent 400 officers to the neighborhood, who were met with Molotov cocktails and gunfire. On the fourth day of the uprising, 1500 National Guardsmen were called in with orders to shoot looters on sight. In total, 244 people were arrested, some 30 were injured (including six police and six firefighters), and two were killed by stray bullets. Among these was a 28 year-old man and a pregnant teenager. King charged local officials and police with escalating the tensions wrought by socioeconomic frustrations and systemic inequality. This event became known variously as the Chicago uprising and the West Side Riot. The Chicago Uprising of 1966
  23. “Demonstrators protest housing discrimination by Chicago real estate dealers in 1966. A new study says the city’s black families lost between $3 billion and $4 billion in wealth because of predatory housing contracts during the 1950s and 1960s.” Associated Press.
  24. During a march through the white neighborhood of Marquette Park on August 5, demonstrators for fair housing were met by 700 white counter-protesters throwing bricks and rocks and shouting racial slurs. One counter-protester hit King in the head with a fist-sized rock. He told reporters, “I’ve been in many demonstrations all across the South, but I can say that I have never seen, even in Mississippi and Alabama, mobs as hostile and as hate-filled as I’m seeing in Chicago.” Protests of white real estate offices sparked similarly hostile and violent responses.
  25. Local real estate agents agreed to abide by the city’s fair-housing ordinance in exchange for an end to protest marches. Here King reviewed a copy of the ordinance with a West Side agent (Nov 1966). This “Summit Agreement” marked the end of the fair housing demonstrations of the Chicago Freedom Movement, though some local organizers continued to lead demonstrations. It quickly became apparent that realtors would not abide by the agreement. Said King, “The Leadership Council must recognize that the city’s inaction is not just a rebuff to the Chicago Freedom Movement or a courtship of the white backlash but also another hot coal on the smolder fires of discontent and despair that are rampant in our black communities.”
  26. Significance of the Chicago Freedom Movement • Highlighted role of local and federal governments in creating and perpetuating residential segregation, and with it, segregated public schooling. • Organized tenants’ unions so renters could collectively demand that landlords address hazardous conditions like peeling lead paint and keep up with routine maintenance. • Launched Jesse Jackson’s work to combat discriminatory hiring practices in Chicago through SCLC’s Operation Breadbasket. • Played a key role in passage of the federal Fair Housing Act of 1968, signed into law one week after King was killed. The law prohibited racial discrimination in selling, renting, or financing housing.
  27. Significance of the Chicago Freedom Movement (cont’d) • The political context of Chicago proved difficult to crack, as liberal Mayor Daley (unlike figures such as Bull Connor in Birmingham and Jim Clark in Selma) sought to defuse demonstrations by offering conciliatory measures rather than using repressive violence. Many of these compromises (e.g. bringing portable swimming pools into Black neighborhoods to address unequal access to public pools) offered superficial corrections to the symptoms of deeply-rooted inequities. • King was not universally welcomed by Black Chicago leaders, most of whom were beholden to Daley for their influence. In Chicago, the SCLC had difficulty securing meeting space in Black churches, which played a central logistical and symbolic role in the Southern movement. • Some credit the movement with spurring a new tradition of Black political organizing and activism in Chicago, resulting in the election of the city’s first Black mayor (Harold Washington in 1983), three Black U.S. senators from Illinois, and the first Black U.S. president.
  28. At a speech at Stanford University, King predicted the violent uprisings that would occur that summer in Black neighborhoods in cities including Newark and Detroit. “All of our cities are potentially powder kegs…But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice, equality, and humanity. . . And as long as America postpones justice, we stand in the position of having these recurrences of violence and riots over and over again…” King, “The Other America” (14 Mar 1967)
  29. The Kerner Commission (1967) Two weeks after the Newark rebellion and while the Detroit uprising was still underway, President Johnson appointed Governor Kerner of Illinois to head a commission ultimately known as the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorder to investigate the causes of urban uprisings during the several years prior. Only two of the committee’s eleven members were Black—Roy Wilkins of the NAACP and Sen. Edward Brooke (R-MA), the first Black American to be popularly elected to the U.S. Senate. Both had repudiated Black radicalism in general and Black power specifically.
  30. Testifying before the Kerner Commission, psychologist Kenneth Clark compared the 1967 riots to violence that erupted in Chicago in 1919, in Harlem in 1935 and 1943, and in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles in 1965: “It is a kind of Alice in Wonderland, with the same moving picture re- shown over and over again, the same analysis, the same recommendations, and the same inaction.” In Clark’s view, the root causes of civil unrest had been documented and studied in decades prior but there had been no follow-through by government officials to remedy the conditions that encouraged alienation and necessitated rebellion.
  31. “Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal…. What white Americans have never fully understood — but what the Negro can never forget — is that white society is deeply implicated in the ghetto. White institutions created it, white institutions maintain it, and white society condones it.”
  32. The Kerner Report (1968) • The Kerner Report cited lack of economic opportunity, pervasive institutional inequality, and “white racism” as the root causes of the violence, not Black Power ideology or any specific organization. • President Johnson rejected the findings of his own commission’s report, which became a national bestseller. • The report acknowledged the role of police as symbols of white supremacy, but it did not highlight the role of police violence and brutality in instigating and inflaming the rebellions.
  33. The Kerner Report: Methodology and Approach How did this commission come to conclusions that were rejected by the president who created it and celebrated by Black power advocates and protesters. • The committee visited Black neighborhoods in cities affected by the rebellions. • It aimed to use harsh rhetoric to make its condemnation of structural racism clear while also preventing Black power from gaining more adherents. • Negative responses to previous commissions’ findings (e.g. the 1965 Moynihan report that pathologized Black family structures) encouraged a focus on structural issues rather than a familiar trope of victim blaming.
  34. Commonalities and Consequences • Urban rebellions during the 1960s: in total, 250 people killed, 10,000 seriously injured, 60,000 arrested, entire neighborhoods destroyed, and thousands of Black residents left homeless. The visible scars of these uprisings are still visible in some affected cities, where sites of uprising in the 1960s are today more likely to have low property values and vacant buildings. • Most rebellions were precipitated by a violent or aggressive police encounter.
  35. Commonalities and Consequences (cont’d) • Researchers concluded that most participants were young Black men (ages 15-24) born in the North (not “outside agitators”) who were relatively well-educated but unemployed or working low-paying jobs with low prospects for advancement. Most had witnessed or experienced police brutality. Few were members of any radical group but most expressed thinking that acts of burning and looting were revolutionary and demonstrations of Black pride (Source: Freedom on My Mind, 2013). • Opponents of Black Power cited these uprisings as evidence that Black radicalism was dangerous and destructive, and used these events to rationalize increasing police presence in cities, especially in poor Black neighborhoods. • Need to reconceptualize what constitutes “political” activity in circumstances where “legitimate” means of protest have not won significant gains.
  36. “The Cycle” • Historian Elizabeth Hinton describes “the cycle” that has characterized Black uprisings since the 1960s: over-policing and harassment result in rebellion and uprising, which are then used to justify ever more aggressive law enforcement measures and policies, an escalation historically supported by politicians of both major parties. • Need to problematize the term “riot” when referring to Black responses to police brutality and structural racism, which Hinton argues is a racist trope meant to delegitimize the demands and frustrations of collective Black resistance. • Hinton and other historians of Black rebellions in the 20th century have argued that peaceful protests alone have not and perhaps can not force national attention to issues of racial injustice or propel largescale policy transformations.
  37. “They are lucky that what Black people are looking for is equality and not revenge.” Author Kimberly Jones

Hinweis der Redaktion

  1. Source: Textbook: Freedom on My Mind
  2. 20 aug 1965
  3. Voices of Freedom, pg. 298.
  4. A Home Owners' Loan Corporation map of Chicago Source: Mapping Inequality: Redlining in New Deal America
  5. Source: “The Plunder of Black Wealth in Chicago”
  8. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ducks after being hit on the head by a rock during a housing discrimination protest in Chicago; spectators threw rocks, bottles, and firecrackers at the marchers, August 5, 1966 White residents of Chicago's northwest side shout and shake their fists against civil rights marchers protesting alleged discrimination in the sale and rental of housing in the area to blacks by real estate agencies, August 7, 1966