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  • What Trees Do They Plant?

    What Trees Do They Plant?

  • [The Roosevelt Experiment demo]

    [The Roosevelt Experiment demo]

  • The Roosevelt Experiment

    The Roosevelt Experiment

    Why and how did an integrated college in a segregated city start in downtown Chicago just as World War II was ending? In 1984 an independent documentary filmmaker, Jeff Spitz, found old pictures and film footage about Roosevelt University including a magazine article that referred to the school as “The Roosevelt Experiment.”

    Tapping the memories of former students who crossed the color line, particularly Blacks and Jews, the film blends archival images and interviews into an exploration of race, racial quotas and democratic ideals. Former students recall being questioned during an anti-communist investigation that targeted their school.

    Chicago Mayor Harold Washington, a former student council president, shares poignant memories of getting into political
    arguments in the cafeteria. He called it an “insane but interesting place.”

    Shortly after the film’s release Spitz returned to City Hall to interview Mayor Washington about fairness, diversity and clashing visions of government. Mayor Washington’s additional commentary appears at the end of the video. Continue reading

  • A Video Celebration of Black Chicago

    A Video Celebration of Black Chicago

    This video showcases Media Burn’s videos documenting Black life in Chicago. It includes everything from neighborhood cultural festivals to jazz and blues legends to trailblazing politicians. Follow the links to watch the full programs from which these excerpts were taken. 0:09 Journalist Vernon Jarrett (1918-2004) describes the intersection of 47th and Martin Luther King Drive in Bronzeville as the “terminal point of the great dream that so many Black people [from the South] envisioned,” from Omnibus: Studs Terkel’s Chicago (1985, … Continue reading

  • Paper Press

    Paper Press

    Documents the activities of a Chicago artist-run, non-profit organization fostering experimental hand papermaking and artists’ collaborations. Shows the process of making paper by hand. Includes interviews with co-directors Marilyn Sward, Linda Sorkin-Eisenberg and other artists. The videowas made in three versions: English, Spanish and American Sign Language. (note: Paper Press served as the proto-type for the Columbia College Chicago Center for Book &
    Paper Arts, established in 1993 with Marilyn Sward as its Director)
    Continue reading

  • Somewhere To Go, Someone To Hear: Battered Women Speak

    Four women, who were victims of physical and emotional abuse, find support in a self-help group. This video, edited from material recorded at one of their weekly meetings, gives insight into the nature of domestic abuse and the problems women face in overcoming that situation. The self-help project was originated by Barbara Stewart, Chicago Department of Human Services Victim/Witness Advocacy Program, and Marcia Alpert, Loop Center YWCA Women’s Services Staff.
    Continue reading

  • Festival De Mujeres

    Festival De Mujeres

    Taped at the first-ever women’s street fair held in Pilsen, a predominantly Latinx, working-class neighborhood in Chicago. The event was organized by Mujeres Latinas in Accion to showcase Latinx women’s culture and to provide information about social services, health services and recreational opportunities available for women. The video captures the activity and color of the fair and features readings by poets Salima Rivera and Marta Callazo. Comments by organizers, participants and local residents give insight into the role of Latinx women in society at that time. Produced, videotaped, and edited by Eleanor Boyer and Karen Peugh with a grant from the Illinois Arts Council. Continue reading

  • Image Union, episode 1313: Halloween Fright

    A special Halloween episode of Image Union. Continue reading

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