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Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Author Topic: Martin Luther King, Jr.  (Read 233 times)
Carole
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« Reply #30 on: January 15, 2008, 10:30:09 pm »


Chicago

In 1966, after several successes in the South, King and other people in the civil rights organizations tried to spread the movement to the North, with Chicago as its first destination. King and Ralph Abernathy, both middle class folk, moved into Chicago's slums as an educational experience and to demonstrate their support and empathy for the poor.

The SCLC formed a coalition with CCCO, Coordinating Council of Community Organizations, an organization founded by Albert Raby, Jr., and the combined organizations' efforts were fostered under the aegis of The Chicago Freedom Movement (CFM). During that spring several dual white couple/black couple tests on real estate offices uncovered the practice, now banned by the Real Estate Industry, of "steering"; these tests revealed the racially selective processing of housing requests by couples who were exact matches in income, background, number of children, and other attributes, with the only difference being their race.

The needs of the movement for radical change grew, and several larger marches were planned and executed, including those in the following neighborhoods: Bogan, Belmont-Cragin, Jefferson Park, Evergreen Park (a suburb southwest of Chicago), Gage Park and Marquette Park, among others.

In Chicago, Abernathy later wrote that they received a worse reception than they had in the South. Their marches were met by thrown bottles and screaming throngs, and they were truly afraid of starting a riot. King's beliefs mitigated against his staging a violent event; if King had intimations that a peaceful march would be put down with violence he would call it off for the safety of others. Nonetheless, he led these marches in the face of death threats to his person. And in Chicago the violence was so formidable it shook the two friends.

Another problem was the duplicity of the city leaders. Abernathy and King secured agreements on action to be taken, but this action was subverted after-the-fact by politicians within Mayor Richard J. Daley's corrupt machine. Abernathy disliked the slums and secretly moved out after a short period. King stayed and wrote of the emotional impact Coretta and his children suffered from the horrid conditions.

When King and his allies returned to the south, they left Jesse Jackson, a seminary student who had previously joined the movement in the South, in charge of their organization. Jackson displayed oratorical skill and organized the first successful boycotts against chain stores. One such campaign targeted A&P Stores which refused to hire blacks as clerks; the campaign was so effective that it laid the groundwork for the equal opportunity programs begun in the 1970s.

« Last Edit: January 15, 2008, 10:30:45 pm by Carole » Report Spam   Logged

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