Monthly Archives: October 2013

After the Boycott, 2nd Boycott Threatened and King Weighs In

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Here are two news items from the Chicago Defender after the Boycott –

October 24, 1963


Here’s a significant piece from October 28, 1963 – the school desegregation movement in Chicago, including the 1963 Boycott, was cited by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as one of his primary reasons for moving to Chicago in 1965. In the article below, we see that he had already taken an interest in Chicago Public Schools:


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We’ve compiled all of our live Tweets from the DuSable Museum event below. They mostly focus on our post-screening panel, which included Boycott participants Rosie Simpson, Dr. Fannie Rushing and Dr. Timuel Black; historian Elizabeth Todd-Breland; and contemporary education activists Jitu Brown of KOCO and Jasson Perez of Black Youth Project. The panel was moderated by University of Chicago professor and ’63 Boycott Co-Producer Tracye Matthews. Enjoy!

Here are some more updates from Facebook that were not on the Twitter Feed:

50th Anniversary Press

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’63 Boycott and the anniversary of Freedom Day received quite a bit of media attention yesterday.  Below are some of the highlights:

’63 Boycott parent organizer Rosie Simpson and one of the film’s producers Rachel Dickson on WBEZ’s The Morning Shift:

“The parents were sick of what was going on … Many of those parents came to meetings and that’s how the school boycott was first decided.” – Rosie Simpson


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Downtown Gears Up For Massive Protest


At about 3:30 pm on October 22, 1963, march captains from all corners of the city would have been leading thousands of people to the protest downtown.  Many of the protestors would have been students, protesting the conditions at their school.

Although the police were ready for a riot, the Boycott was by most accounts completely peaceful and, as Boycott organizer and former CPS teacher Sylvia Fischer told us in 2013, “we just felt the children of Chicago had shown the very best of themselves.”

The clip below also features never-before-seen footage of the Boycott:

Inside Boycott Headquarters

Here is never-before-seen footage of the Boycott organizing headquarters, pulled from our 16 mm footage from Oct 22, 1963. At this point in the afternoon, the numbers would have been pouring in, with activists tallying the number of students absent from school and talking to Freedom Day captains all over the city in preparation for the massive march on downtown scheduled for 4 pm.


Here is a school-by-school tally of absenteeism on Freedom Day, from the Chicago Defender the following day: