81 results for “African American life”

Don't Shop Downtown Until Willis Goes

Chicago activists distributed the “Stop! Don't Shop Downtown” flyer during a campaign to oust Chicago Public Schools superintendent Benjamin Willis. Activists charged Willis with supporting segregated and inadequately funded schools for African Americans. In 1965, over 100,000 Chicago Public School students joined a two-day school boycott to protest the renewal of Willis's contract by the Chicago Board of Education.

Creator
Students Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
Date
1963
Subjects
African American life
Boycotts
Civil rights
Places
Chicago (Ill.)
UPI Press wire demonstration at the _Chicago Sun-Times_ regarding editorial "Now that the March is Over," August 29, 1963

While returning to Chicago by train from the 1963 March on Washington, some civil rights activists read a Sun-Times editorial critical of Martin Luther King, Jr., and other leaders. As this newswire transcript recounts, some 300 activists marched directly from the train station to the Sun-Times building to picket. The newspaper's editors agreed to meet with leaders of the protest.

Date
1963
Subjects
African American life
Civil rights
Places
Chicago (Ill.)
Washington D.C.
People
Black, Timuel
Memorandum regarding the Till murder trial, September 13, 1955, _Chicago Sun-Times_.

While visiting his relatives in Mississippi during the summer of 1955, fourteen-year old Chicagoan Emmett Till was lynched for allegedly whistling at a white woman. Till's mother insisted on bringing her son's body back to Chicago and having an open casket funeral. Thousands of black Chicagoans came to bear witness to his brutal killing, and Jet magazine published dramatic images of Till's battered body. The state of Mississippi brought charges of murder against two white men, and an all-white jury quickly found them not guilty. The Department of Justice has recently re-opened an investigation into the case.

Date
1955
Subjects
African American Life
Civil rights
Journalism
Places
Chicago (Ill.)
Southern States
People
Till, Emmitt
Cleaning the "Vistadome" Car

Railroad work in the U.S. was segregated by race well into the 1950s. African Americans held jobs for car cleaners, maids, and porters, but rarely worked as conductors or engineers. Here an African American woman cleans the interior of the Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy “Vistadome” car.

Creator
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company
Date
ca. 1949
Subjects
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company
Labor
Railroads
Places
Chicago (Ill.)
Underground Routes to Canada

Map showing routes used by African Americans fleeing slavery in the American South to free states in the North and to Canada. Before the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, African Americans who escaped slavery could live and work in relative freedom in northern states, although they usually did not have full political equality. After 1850 many of these Americans moved on to Canada where slavery had been abolished in 1834.

Date
1899
Subjects
Emancipation
Slavery
Underground Railroad
Places
Canada
Report from M. Butler to E.M. Graham, May 11, 1937

The report of an undercover agent to the Pullman Company. Since the late 19th century, the Pullman Company employed African Americans as service workers on its sleeping cars. By the 1920s it was one of the largest industrial employers of African American workers, enjoying a reputation for paternalism. Beginning in the mid-1920s the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP) under the leadership of A. Philip Randolph sought to unionize the porters and maids of the Pullman Company. Like other industrial employers, Pullman maintained an extensive network of informants who infiltrated unions and reported back to management.

Date
May 11, 1937
Subjects
African Americans
Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters
Unions
Working class
Places
Pullman (Chicago, Ill.)
Railroad employee reading strike news, Burlington, Iowa

Strikes and government intervention were in the headlines in 1948 as American workers and their unions exerted newly won power to win higher wages. Although this photograph was taken as part of an effort to document life and work along the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, it was never published.

Date
1948
Subjects
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company
Railroads
Strikes and lockouts
Places
Iowa
Advertisement for Buffalo Bill's Wild West

One of many posters advertising William Cody's Wild West Show as a re-enactment of Euro-American conflict with American Indians.

Date
April 27, 1893
Subjects
Advertising
Wild west shows
World's Columbian Exposition
Places
Chicago (Ill.)
West (U.S.)
People
Buffalo Bill, 1846-1917
Chicago's Interracial Debating Classic, January 25, 1931

Before the advent of television, lectures and debates provided public entertainment. Social activists used these venues to present their ideas and to educate their constituencies. This flyer promotes a debate involving A. Philip Randolph and Chandler Owen, both leaders of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP), as optimists, and Ben Reitman and David Tullman, both white radicals associated with the Dill Pickle Club, as pessimists. Although the exact topic of the debate is unclear, both sides supported unionization as well as racial integration. In 1931, the BSCP was engaged in a campaign to gain formal recognition as the union of African American porters and maids who worked on Pullman sleeping cars.

Date
1931
Subjects
Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters
Dill Pickle Club
Education
Labor
Places
Chicago (Ill.)
People
Randolph, A. Phillip
Reitman, Ben
Children walking on railroad tracks near Knoxville, Illinois

In 1948 the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad hired two photographers to document work at the company and life in the communities it served. A series of pictures featured life on the Rader family farm near Knoxville, Illinois. Images like this one of the Rader children on their way to school were intended to show the wholesome relationship between families, communities, and the railroad corporation.

Creator
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company
Date
ca. 1949
Subjects
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company
Children
Railroads
Places
Illinois