The 1963 and 1964 CPS School Boycotts: Part 2. History of Chicago Series


Join Dr. Chris Stacey for a discussion of the boycott movement against the Chicago Public schools in the early 1960s. On October 22, 1963, at least 224,770 students boycotted the Chicago Public Schools and 10,000 people marched on City Hall. The movement sustained itself into 1964 when 175,000 students boycotted the Chicago Public Schools and 4,000 people marched on City Hall.

  • This presentation looks at events and activism in the late 1950s leading to the first public school boycott in 1963.
  • We take a look at why Benjamin Willis, Superintendent of Chicago Public Schools, became a reviled, and symbolic figure in the African American community – how school overcrowding and “Willis Wagons” became the focus of community anger.
  • Discussion of the first boycott and the centrality of Al Raby to the school integration movement.
  • Presentation of factors leading to the second boycott.
  • Presentation of why the formation of the Chicago Freedom Movement in 1966 and the Chicago Plan shifted away from emphasis on public school integration.
  • Discussion of the legacy of the CPS boycotts. One goal is to discuss whether the boycotts were: “Useless and ineffective in forcing change” as many traditional civil rights historians have contended or a “pivotal moment in the movement for racial and social justice in this country” as revisionist historians and contemporary social activists argue.

Date: Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Time: 6:30 p.m. Central | 7:30PM Eastern | 4:30PM Pacific

Cost: Free


October 26, 2022 at 6:30pm - 8:30pm

Zoom Video Coneference

Chicago, IL
United States

Chris Stacey

Will you come?