4/5/15: When Harold Washington Beat the Machine

As we approach the April 7th run-off election between Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his challenger “Chuy” Garcia, join us and our partners at Heartland Cafe for a look at another mayoral election, more than thirty years ago: Harold Washington’s improbable election to become the first African American mayor of Chicago.

On April 5th, there will be a new screening of some of the films originally organized by South Side Projections in memory of Mayor Washington. We’ll once again be there with Bill Stamets’ new 40 minute version of Chicago Politics: A Theatre of Power (1987) that focuses on the Harold Washington campaign.These two locally made films survey the election, Washington’s tenure as mayor, and his fight to change the way the city was governed. Running with the Mayor (Community TV Network, 1984, 12 min.), created by Hispanic students of Chicago’s Community TV Network, follows Washington on the campaign trail, asking whether Washington will be a force for change for Hispanic as well as African American residents. Chicago Politics: A Theatre of Power (Bill Stamets, 1987, 40 min. excerpt of 90 min. film) focuses on the two elections that Washington won, capturing Washington’s unforgettable way with words and the context of 1980s racism. Also included are rarities from the Media Burn Independent Video Archive, including selected campaigns ads that directly confront the racism implied by the “Before it’s too late” motto of his Republican challenger, as well as Washington’s appearance on The Bozo Show.

The screening will include a Q & A with Denise Zaccardi, Founder and Executive Director of Community TV Network.

Videos courtesy of Media Burn Independent Video Archive, Community Television Network, and Bill Stamets.

Where: Heartland Cafe, 7000 N Glenwood Ave
When: Sunday, April 5, 3pm
How much: Free admission



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