Chicago School Boycott
Chicago School Boycott
As the Brown decision resonated across the nation, communities in virtually every state, not just the South, were affected. The Brown decision also fueled an even larger Civil Rights Movements. By the mid 1960's national civil rights leaders and groups turned their attention to ghettos, poverty, hunger, poor education and other dilemmas plaguing cities in the North, such as Chicago. The struggle to desegregate schools became part of the larger civil rights movement.
On June 8, 1965 the Chicago Board of Education filed an injunction filed against numerous civil rights groups in Chicago, to prohibit a boycott by African-American school students protesting segregated, overcrowded schools, the use of trailers as classrooms and other inferior facilities, and the policies of the white school superintendent. The day after the Circuit Court of Cook County granted an injunction against Chicago's civil rights organizations, civil rights activists filed a petition for removal to bring the controversy before the United States District Court, away from the politically charged county court system. Nevertheless, more than 100,000 African-American students violated the injunction by staying home June 10-11, 1965, to protest the renewal of a four-year contract for Dr. Benjamin Willis, the white school superintendent. The school boycott marked the beginning of a sustained protest movement, the Chicago Freedom Movement of 1965-1966, that culminated in the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's arrival in Chicago to lead the struggle for equal opportunities in education and housing.
Documents and Photographs
- Listing of Civil Rights Court Cases in the Great Lakes Region. Source: National Archives Great Lakes Region
- Transcript of Court Proceedings, Board of Education of the City of Chicago v. Chicago Branch, NAACP, et al, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, RG 21, National Archives Great Lakes Region (5 pages) .
- Photo of School Overcrowding, Plaintiff Exhibit 2, Board of Education of the City of Chicago v. Chicago Branch, NAACP, et al, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, RG 21, National Archives Great Lakes Region.
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Other School Desegregation and Civil Rights Stories:
- Ketchikan, Alaska. Irene Jones, a twelve year old girl of mixed Alaskan Indian and white heritage in Alaska, 1929.
- Orange County, California. The Mendez Case, Mexican American children in 1949. The NAACP files an amicus brief.
- Oklahoma University. Segregation in Higher Education, 1948.
- Pulaski County, Virginia, 1947. An effort by the NAACP to achieve equal schools for African American.
- Claymont, Delaware. On site viewing of "A Separate Place", the story of the education of African Americans in Delaware following the Civil War and through Belton v. Gebhart.
- South Carolina (Briggs v. Elliott). Explore the case of the courageous Reverend J.A. Delaine and the NAACP's efforts to end segregation in South Carolina public schools.
- Prince Edward County, Virginia (Davis v. County School Board). It started when 11th grader Barbara Rose Johns led fellow students to boycott for improvements in their high school. More. . .
- Girard College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1965. A fourteen year struggle to end segregation is accomplished by William T. Coleman, a main architect of the legal strategy leading to the Brown v. Board decision.
- Harry S. Truman Presidential Library. Explore how the Truman Presidency paved the way for the Brown v. Board Supreme Court decision.
- Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library. Examine President Eisenhower's decisions on the Little Rock, Arkansas crisis.
- John F. Kennedy Presidential Library. Explore Civil Rights history during the Kennedy Administration.
- Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library. Explore Civil Rights at "LBJ for Kids".