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      From Civil Rights To Black Power: The Hidden History Of Black Community College Activism In Chicago



            During the rise of the Black Power movement, the Afro-American History Club fought for control of Chicago’s Woodrow Wilson Junior College, by challenging the viability of the college’s mostly Eurocentric curriculum for Black students. In doing so, they found themselves in public battles with Chicago’s mayor, Richard J. Daley. As America’s most powerful mayor, Daley controlled the City Colleges of Chicago campuses with a system of political nepotism that fixed Black students at the lowest rung of the educational strata. This chapter critically examines the fight between the Afro-American History Club and “Pharoah” Daley in 1967-1968. Also, it investigates the impact of Daley politics on student activism and protest at Woodrow Wilson Junior College during the growth and development of the Black Power movement.


            Author and article information

            Zanj: The Journal of Critical Global South Studies
            20 September 2022
            : 6
            : 1
            : 70-92
            [1 ] Black Studies Center, University of Wyoming, 1000 E University Ave, Laramie, WY 82071
            The Authors

            Published under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International ( CC BY 4.0). Users are allowed to share (copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format) and adapt (remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially), as long as the authors and the publisher are explicitly identified and properly acknowledged as the original source.


            Sociology,Political science,General social science,Development studies,Cultural studies
            Black Power movement,education reform,ethnic interest politics,student activism


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            4. Dixon Fredrick Douglass. Locked in the Shadows:Rise Up! p. 261–282. 2019. Michigan State University Press. [Cross Ref]

            5. Brezis Elise S., Hellier Joël. Social mobility at the top and the higher education system. European Journal of Political Economy. Vol. 52:36–54. 2018. Elsevier BV. [Cross Ref]

            6. Benbow Mark E.. Birth of a Quotation: Woodrow Wilson and “Like Writing History with Lightning”. The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. Vol. 9(4):509–533. 2010. Cambridge University Press (CUP). [Cross Ref]

            7. Baron Harold M., Stulman Harriet, Rothstein Richard, Davis Rennard. Black powerlessness in Chicago. Society. Vol. 6(1):27–33. 1968. Springer Science and Business Media LLC. [Cross Ref]

            8. Agyepong Tera. IN THE BELLY OF THE BEAST: BLACK POLICEMEN COMBAT POLICE BRUTALITY IN CHICAGO, 1968–1983. The Journal of African American History. Vol. 98(2):253–276. 2013. University of Chicago Press. [Cross Ref]


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