Over the weekend, Chicago will expand its collection of civil rights history when the Tell the Story exhibit opens at the DuSable Museum of African American History. The Chicago SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) History Project collected the materials from local civil rights efforts in the early 1960s—from posters to oral histories—that were used to assemble the exhibit. The archive is part of the Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature housed in the Carter G. Woodson Regional Library. The interactive exhibit opens Saturday in honor of Freedom Day, when hundreds of thousands of students boycotted Chicago Public Schools for its segregationist policies. To learn more, WBEZ's Richard Steele spoke with a couple of people behind the project.
He first visited Sylvia Fischer, a founding member of the Chicago Area Friends of SNCC. They talked in her home where Sylvia hosted meetings in the early 1960s. He also spoke with Michael Flug, the director of the Harsh Archival Processing Project at the Woodsen Library.
The music heard in the piece is by the Freedom Singers, who be a part of the opening-day festivities for the new Tell the Story exhibit at the DuSable Museum. And comedian Dick Gregory – who was big in the Chicago movement— will be interviewed. But this time, it will be Sylvia Fischer asking the questions!
Special thanks to Kartemquin Films for additional archival footage.
A correction has been made to this story. A name was misspelled in an earlier version.