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Eyes on the Prize
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Chicago Housing Activists

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Black youngsters outside a high-rise housing project on Chicago's South Side, May 1973.

Chicago white racists were notorious for bombing black homes on the "wrong side" of the city's racial boundaries. They attacked hundreds of homes to keep African American homeowners in the ghetto. Some 15 years after the Chicago Freedom Movement of 1966, public housing remained a serious problem for the city's African American community. In one case, 14,000 people lived in a single block. Although 85% of the inhabitants were black, management was mostly white. Chicago's African American activists aimed to change that. Two of the key leaders were Lutrelle Palmer, reporter, radio host, and founder of Chicago Black United Communities; and Marion Stamps, director of the Chicago Housing Tenants Organization and a resident of the infamous Cabrini-Green development, who ran for alderman in an effort to spotlight housing issues.

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