Home » Communities

  • 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

  • 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

  • La Maestra:  Maria Luisa Michel Almonte

    La Maestra: Maria Luisa Michel Almonte

    Maria Almonte immigrated from Mexico to Chicago’s Pilsen–Little Village neighborhood in 1950. An
    artist/teacher, she supported her family from her flower shop business and became a leader in the
    educational and cultural life of the community. She taught traditional arts, crafts, and practical skills

    like dress-making in settlement houses, in community workshops and in her own studio. At the age of
    70 she continued to teach and act on her belief that artistic expression is a powerful tool for
    developing cultural identity and individual self-esteem. The video shows Ms. Almonte in community-
    sponsored workshops teaching neighborhood residents how to make traditional cut-paper ornaments
    and how to design clothing. In the hall of a local church her students model their creations and receive
    recognition. Produced, directed and edited by Eleanor Boyer and Karen Peugh. Partially funded by
    the Illinois Arts Council and the Center for New Television with a Joyce Foundation grant.
    Gold Can Award, Chicago Access Corporation, 1986; Certificate of Merit, Chicago International
    Film Festival, 1984
    Continue reading

  • In Memory of Frank Sullivan (1930-2021)

    In Memory of Frank Sullivan (1930-2021)

    Frank Sullivan, press secretary for Mayor Richard J. Daley from 1971-1976, died June 18 at the age of 91.  Prior to working for Daley, he served as spokesperson for the Chicago Police Department during the 1968 Democratic National Convention protests. Television viewers around the world then were shocked at live broadcasts of police beating anti-imperialist demonstrators. This was unprecedented violence and the origin of the now-famous protest cry, “The whole world is watching!” The independent Kerner Commission report determined that … Continue reading

  • America’s First Drag Queen President

    America’s First Drag Queen President

    “A presidential campaign is like a drag show.” Joan Jett Blakk In 1992, there was another candidate against Bush, and her name? Joan Jett Blakk. For Pride month, Media Burn is highlighting and celebrating the work of queer activists of the past. Blakk was the drag persona of performer Terence Smith, who was a performer and leader of Chicago Queer Nation in the 70s. In the 1990s, Blakk campaigned for various political positions, such as mayor of Chicago, President (as … Continue reading

  • [New York TBS meeting + Goat]

    Tom Weinberg records dinner with Skip Blumberg and Clarence Cross, rehashing the day’s earlier meeting with TBS. Continue reading

  • When a Black King Ruled Chicago

 
 
Copyright © 2022 Media Burn Archive.
Media Burn Archive | 935 W Chestnut St Suite 405 Chicago IL 60642
(312) 964-5020 | info@mediaburn.org