’63 Boycott raw: Sandra Murray Interview

Camera original footage shot for the documentary '63 Boycott from Kartemquin Films. ’63 Boycott is a thirty-minute documentary and web project highlighting the stories of participants in the 1963 Chicago Public School (CPS) Boycott (also known as Freedom Day). One of the largest Civil Rights demonstrations in the city’s history, on October 22, 1963, a coalition of civil rights groups, local activists, and 250,000 students staged a mass boycott and demonstration against the Chicago Board of Education to protest racial segregation and inadequate resources for Black students. This interview features Sandra Murray, professor of cell biology at the University of Pittsburgh. Murray was a student at Ogden International High School and participated in the 1963 and 1966 school boycotts.

00:00Copy video clip URL Camera positioning.

00:16Copy video clip URL Interviewer Tracye Matthews begins with introduction questions.

00:30Copy video clip URL Audio adjustment.

01:24Copy video clip URL Sandra Murray re-introduces herself.

01:35Copy video clip URL Murray talks about her life in Chicago in 1963. As a young student, Murray explains, she took an interest in science. Encouraged early by teachers, Murray says that by high school, she wanted to become a research scientist.

03:50Copy video clip URL Murray’s connection to the Civil Rights movement as a young adult. The influence of Murray’s mother and father on her education and activism.

05:50Copy video clip URL Murray describes the resource disparities between predominately white and predominately black schools. She compares her experience in high school at Ogden International High School to other predominately black schools in Chicago Public Schools.

06:33Copy video clip URL Murray then tells the story of an experience in high school of racial and gender discrimination with a guidance councilor that negatively effected Murray’s career dreams.

10:02Copy video clip URL Sound adjustment.

10:20Copy video clip URL Murray explains the importance of her outfit when marching on the day of the 1963 and 1966 boycotts.

10:45Copy video clip URL Murray’s recollection of how her mother arranged for her to attend Ogden High School in the early 1960s. Comparisons of Ogden High School at the time to other CPS schools in predominately black neighborhoods.

13:08Copy video clip URL Murray’s memory of first learning about the 1963 boycott.

15:20Copy video clip URL Interview break. Director Gordon Quinn discusses the interview with Matthews. Murray introduces her sister Charlotte Murray. The filming crew talk about the ’63 Boycott documentary project and connecting the boycott’s participants to the documentary’s internet project. Charlotte mentions that she heard about the project from Ralph Davis, another interviewed subject of the documentary, who recently made an announcement about the ’63 Boycott project at a school reunion.

18:14Copy video clip URL Setting readjustment.

19:24Copy video clip URL Interview resumes. Murray recalls her awareness of the boycott’s goals.

20:12Copy video clip URL Murray’s memory of the so-called Willis Wagons, the notorious mobile-unit trailer classrooms implemented by Benjamin Willis, former superintendent of Chicago Public Schools.

22:07Copy video clip URL Day of the 1963 boycott.

27:55Copy video clip URL Murray’s assessment of the boycott’s impact and success.

30:17Copy video clip URL Impact of the boycott on Murray’s life and career.

31:53Copy video clip URL Current state of education.

34:22Copy video clip URL Interview breaks for a camera reset.

35:14Copy video clip URL Interview resumes. Lessons from the boycott still relevant to current day issues in education.

36:45Copy video clip URL The importance of mass organizing to instill hope and opportunity. Murray describes her own experience of being supported in her career by groups of activists like those who gathered for the 1963 boycott. The optimism of movements like Black Lives Matter and the role of marches and public demonstrations in the face of problems like police brutality.

39:50Copy video clip URL Summary of Murray’s life after the boycott. Description of Murray’s field of study and research interests.

41:45Copy video clip URL Follow-up questions about Murray’s experience in downtown Chicago during the boycott march. Murray’s recollection of Chicago police presence during the march.

45:16Copy video clip URL Murray’s role in establishing diversity in the field of research science.

 

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