Issue #7 of AREA presents a look back at Chicago in 1968, its meaning, its art, and its vibrant though lesser known rebellions. Read Rebecca Zorach’s Introduction here.
My contribution focuses on JOIN Community Union and the political transformation of one of its members, Peggy Terry. Terry, a southern-born poor white woman, became the heart of JOIN’s welfare and housing rights work, and later ran for vice-president in 1968 on the Peace & Freedom Party ticket with Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver. Terry didn’t ever expect to win, but she had another victory in mind: negating the influence of presidential candidate and renown racist George Wallace in poor white communities.
Read the except here: Uptown’s JOIN Community Union, 1964-1966
Other great features in AREA Issue #7:
Highlights the work of different archivists and historians who have worked to make visible the hidden histories of Chicago.
An ambitious research project including interviews with witnesses to the riots that ensued following MLK’s assassination.
Interview with Michael Staudenmaier focusing on the relationship between a social movement organization and an activist historian who researches them.
An interview with Eric Tang about the evolution of the generation of ‘68 and what its transition into the NFP sector means for movements in general.
This fall the Puerto Rican Young Lords held an event commemorating their work in Chicago which began 40 years ago.
**The book tentatively titled Keep on the Firing Line will be published in January 2010, and traces the history of five little-known community groups that organized white working-class communities against racism and poverty during the 1960s. It was coauthored with James Tracy.