Tag Archives: 1968

Maybe the oldest rap music you’ll ever hear…

Cadillac Jack by Andre Williams

Andre Williams rapping about the Southside of Chicago with doo-wop backing by the Dells back in 1968.  Produced by Charles Stepney. Local Chicago Chess Records magic. Dig it.


Chicago 10 [fight the power]

(above clip, from the film Chicago 10, as aired on PBS’ Independent lens)

Plans for the Festival of Life (to be held during the Democratic National Convention of 1968), developed by Yippie founders Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, called for a “festival of youth, music, and theater.”  In January 1968, the Yippies released an initial call to come to Chicago, called:

“A STATEMENT FROM YIP”:

“Join us in Chicago in August for an international festival of youth, music, and theater.  Rise up and abandon the creeping meatball!  Come all you rebels, youth spirits, rock minstrels, truth-seekers, peacock-freaks, poets, barricade-jumpers, dancers, lovers and artists!
“It is summer.  It is the last week in August, and the NATIONAL DEATH PARTY meets to bless Lyndon Johnson.  We
are there!  There are 50,000 of us dancing in the streets, throbbing with amplifiers and harmony.  We are making love in the
parks.  We are reading, singing, laughing, printing newspapers, groping, and making a mock convention, and celebrating the
birth of FREE AMERICA in our own time.
“Everything will be free.  Bring blankets, tents, draft-cards, body-paint, Mr. Leary’s Cow, food to share, music, eager skin,
and happiness.  The threats of LBJ, Mayor Daley, and J. Edgar Freako will not stop us.  We are coming!  We are coming from
all over the world!
“The life of the American spirit is being torn asunder by the forces of violence, decay, and the napalm-cancer fiend.  We
demand the Politics of Ecstasy!  We are the delicate spores of the new fierceness that will change America.  We will create our
own reality, we are Free America!  And we will not accept the false theater of the Death Convention.
“We will be in Chicago.  Begin preparations now!  Chicago is yours!  Do it!”

Chicago was never quite the same….. In the wake of the riots, of so much turmoil, a fire was lit.  More on this topic to come (I’ve got lots of underground local papers from the era…)

Below is Jose Feliciano with a performance of “Light My Fire”, a Doors cover and a top record on both WVON and WLS (local Radio Station powerhouses) during August of 1968…



JB Monorail by Theaster Gates


theaster
a bit about the residual effects of 1968 in Chicago (specifically on the West Side).

Published in 68/08 on Dec. 6, 2008 in AREA/Chicago
by Theaster Gates

There are moments when I think that my life on the Westside of Chicago had no real relationship to the history of political struggle. I had not yet been born, the trophies of that era that hung around my house in the form of handmade protest signs, banners and buttons, not to mention Afro wigs, fake eyelashes and pleather had all become trunk filler or so dusty that they read as insignificant memorials to my eight sisters’ high school days. But there were moments in my youth when the cultural residue of ’68 makes itself very clear. James Brown for me was an extremely important part of how I understand and, in some ways, get to anachronistically connect to that moment when my sisters say Black folk had reasons to live and they weren’t just about making money, but uplift and cultural pride… read more


Life and Death of the West Side

chiriot07nLife And Death of the West Side: a Communiversity Course

Dates:  March 12 – April 30 (8 weeks)

A Community Theatre Project

In this course, participants will create an original theatrical stage production based on the Chicago West side Riots of April 6-8, 1968 (that were in response to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr). Participants concentrate on script writing, research, production, and set design. The project will end with a live community performance.


Facilitators: Sabrina Miller and Clarice Mills have over 20 years of collective experience in dramatic theatre and community activism.



Time:  Thursdays, 6:30 – 8:30 pm

Place:  Franklin Park Fieldhouse, 4320 W. 15th St.

Fee:  8 sessions, $25 for 21 and over, free for under 21

photos, Chicago Riots by Jo Freeman.

About the Communiversity:

According to Mia Henry, Communiversity events, facilitated by the Chicago Freedom School, seek to engage intergenerational audiences in the study of past movements and discussions on what we can learn from them…


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