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Conflict in Chicago

Come Alive October Five
Composer: Chuck Colbert

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In 1983, Harold Washington, then a U.S. Congressman representing Chicago's South Side, became Chicago's first Black mayor. He had resisted running for mayor, until he was promised a drive to register 50,000 new Black voters, and $250,000 in the bank. Jesse Jackson's Operation PUSH (People United to Serve Humanity), many other African American activists and organizations -- and soon, a larger multi-racial coalition -- began a major voter registration campaign: "Come Alive October Five" (Oct. 5 1982 was the date registration closed before the Congressional elections that preceded the mayoral primary.) The newspaper and radio campaign included a lively, and danceable, commercial with the lyrics:

Come Alive October 5, Make a Plan to Make a Move,
Come Alive, Come Live, Come Alive;
Get with the voters registration booth;
Get with it, come on, Come Alive, Come Alive

Washington's election campaign song was "Win! Chicago Can Win!" which began with "Let's All Feel Good about Chicago Again with Washington for Mayor."

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PBS Eyes on the Prize American Experience