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Fri04182014

50th Anniversary Of 1963 Chicago School Boycott Inspires New Documentary (VIDEO)

50th Anniversary Of 1963 Chicago School Boycott Inspires New Documentary (VIDEO)

    Fifty years ago Tuesday, more than 200,000 Chicago children stayed home from school and hit the streets as part of a massive protest against segregation and inequality in the city's public schools.

    And 50 years later, activists are still fighting the same fight.

    The protest specifically targeted the segregationist tendencies of Chicago Public Schools' then-superintendent Benjamin Willis but, though Willis is long gone, many say public schools in the nation's third-largest city are just as segregated today as they were in 1963 -- if not more. According to the New York Times, Chicago's schools are the most segregated in the nation.

    "Freedom Day," as the demonstration was dubbed, is the subject of a new documentary film project titled "'63 Boycott" from Kartemquin Films, which produced the award-winning "The Interrupters." "'63 Boycott" director Gordon Quinn was interviewed Tuesday on HuffPost Live to discuss his film and the importance of the historic boycott.

    "This is the 50th anniversary but it's more relevant than ever. We just had 50 schools close in Chicago, there have been lots of demonstrations about the school closings," Quinn, a University of Chicago student at the time he shot the original footage of the boycott, said. "Like a lot of things in America, some things change and a lot of things don't and we're struggling around the same issues."

    Quinn was joined by Chicago genealogist and author Tony Burroughs, who himself participated in the protest, as well as spoken word poet and writer Malcolm London and Aja Reynolds, a Chicago-based activist with Teachers for Social Justice. View highlights of their discussion above and the 30-minute segment in full below.

    Also on HuffPost:

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    Read more http://www.chicagodefender.com/index.php/news/city/26877-50th-anniversary-of-1963-chicago-school-boycott-inspires-new-documentary-video

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