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.

 

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment

 
 




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