Jul 13th 2018

“There goes the neighborhood!” The Fair Housing Act of 1968

Unfinished Business: 1968-2018 May through September

This five month series of shows and discussions explores the many ways the struggles of fifty years ago are the same struggles today in Chicago. “This is our basic conclusion: Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white–separate and unequal. It is time to make good the promises of American democracy to all citizens.” -The 1968 Kerner Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders

The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Kerner Commission Report is a reminder of how America has in many ways fallen further behind in the struggle for equality and justice for all.

OPENING Friday July 13,2018 6-10pm

“There goes the neighborhood!” The Fair Housing Act of 1968 – Segregation, Affordability and Gentrification of Chicago in 2018

URI-EICHEN Gallery 2101 S Halsted Chicago IL 60608 info@URI-EICHEN.com

Activist-artist Tonika Lewis Johnson’s visually stunning photographs document daily life in Englewood. Johnson tenderly challenges the sensationalized, damage centered narrative of the Chicago South Side neighborhood in which she was raised. Her images celebrate the resilience of urban Black culture in Englewood by portraying levity, triumph, joy and normalcy.

Activist –artist Larry Redmond’s photographs Document the tear down of the Ida B. Wells housing project. Redmond used photos taken of the site in the 40s by Jack Delano, and juxtaposed them with his photos of the buildings. Good jobs leaving the city resulted in these neighborhoods running down.

Artists John Pitman Weber and Sonja Henderson: photos and prep sketches of the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial to Chicago’s 1960s Fair Housing Movement, the 1966 marches in Marquette Park in cooperation with IMAN and CPAG.

Bernard Kleina Photos from the 1966 housing march.

John Pitman Weber’s painting “For Sale” on gentrification of east Humbodlt Park.

The Marches in 1966 and the Monument in 2016:

In 1966 MLK and the Chicago Freedom Movement led marches all summer into all white areas in an effort to break up the pattern of solid housing segregation in Chicago. The housing segregation was supported by neighborhood “covenants” and enforced by real estate agents.

In Marquette Park they were met by a mob of angry whites, mainly young men, including overt neo-Nazis. The marchers, a racially mixed group of several hundred were showered with stones, bottles and bricks despite police presence. King was knocked down by a stone. The march was stopped at 67th and Kedzie, at the entrance to Marquette Park. The incident was documented and given national coverage.

The Monument: IMAN (Inner City Muslim Action Network), a community organization that also has a free clinic, housing rehab program and after school tutoring, initiated the effort to commemorate the 1966 Open Housing March and honor the neighborhood’s evolution. Jon Pounds, longtime executive director of the Chicago Public Art Group, CPAG, met with IMAN director Rami Nashashibi and they decided on carved brick as the medium for the monument to be in harmony with the mostly brick neighborhood. John Pitman Weber and Sonja Henderson became the lead artists who conceived the design together with architect Garth Wemmer. After a 1/3 size model was approved by the Park District board, the actual monument was created in one year and dedicated July, 2016. The monument is three vertical slabs covered by carved brick and stand on the south west corner of 67th and Kedzie, at the entrance to Marquette Park itself. A curved bench is decorated with colorful plaques made by hundreds of neighborhood residents and the portraits of eight grassroots neighborhood leaders. Special thanks to CPAG and Steve Weaver and IMAN and Rami Nashashibi

Screening: Video of US President Lyndon B. Johnson announcing of the signing the Civil Rights Act of 1968. The act prohibited discrimination concerning the sale, rental, and financing of housing based on race, religion, national origin, sex and family status.

Title VIII of the Act is also known as the Fair Housing Act

Program at 7pm: A group of CHA public housing tenants and organizers of CHI, the Chicago Housing Initiative, will discuss continued de facto segregation in Chicago neighborhoods and the failure of the city to provide enough adequate subsidized rental apartments for poor and low-income families.A tenant member of the activist Lathrop Leadership Team of the Julia C. Lathrop Homes, a Chicago public housing project built in 1938 and currently being redeveloped as market-price and mixed income rental apartments, displacing over 500 CHA residents, will speak about the”Keeping the Promise” Ordinance proposal now being considered by the Chicago City Council and the implications of the growing trend to gentrify public housing sites. The discussion will be moderated by filmmaker Peter Kuttner, whose documentary film about Chicago teenagers in public housing, focusing on Lathrop Homes, is in early stages of production at the Community Television Network – CTVN -a youth media access organization in Humboldt Park. Q&A will follow.

Open by appointment outside of receptions until July 6. Call (312) 852-7717 for an appointment.

August 10th: Vote With Your Feet! Failures of Electoral Politics
September 14th: Walkout! 1968 and 2018 School Walkouts

October: Fundraiser and art auction for URI-EICHEN Gallery!

November: Revolution in Higher Ed

December: Human Rights Day Show: Pre-Existing with Artists for Action

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