The Chicago Freedom Movement

The Chicago Freedom Movement

Martin Luther King Jr. and Civil Rights Activism in the North

Civil Rights and the Struggle for Black Equality in the Twentieth Century

Edited by Mary Lou Finley, Bernard LaFayette Jr., James R. Ralph Jr. and Pam Smith

Foreword by Clayborne Carson

Published by: The University Press of Kentucky

Imprint: The University Press of Kentucky

528 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.00 in, 19 b&w halftones, 3 maps, 3 figures, 3 tables

  • Paperback
  • 9780813175003
  • Published: March 2019

$30.00 SR

  • Hardcover
  • 9780813166506
  • Published: April 2016

$60.00 SR


Six months after the Selma to Montgomery marches and just weeks after the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a group from Martin Luther King Jr.'s staff arrived in Chicago, eager to apply his nonviolent approach to social change in a northern city. Once there, King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) joined the locally based Coordinating Council of Community Organizations (CCCO) to form the Chicago Freedom Movement. The open housing demonstrations they organized eventually resulted in a controversial agreement with Mayor Richard J. Daley and other city leaders, the fallout of which has historically led some to conclude that the movement was largely ineffective.

In this important volume, an eminent team of scholars and activists offer an alternative assessment of the Chicago Freedom Movement's impact on race relations and social justice, both in the city and across the nation. Building upon recent works, the contributors reexamine the movement and illuminate its lasting contributions in order to challenge conventional perceptions that have underestimated its impressive legacy.