We're delighted to announce that the Illinois Humanities Council has given initial funding of $5,000 to 63 Boycott, a new Kartemquin documentary being produced/directed by Gordon Quinn and produced by Zak Piper.
63 Boycott looks at the Chicago School boycott of 1963 when more than 200,000 Chicagoans, mostly CPS students, marched to protest the segregationist policies of CPS Superintendent Benjamin Willis, who placed aluminum mobile school units on vacant lots as a permanent solution to overcrowding in black schools.
The transmedia project has its origins in footage from 1963 captured by Gordon Quinn, along with a group of documentarians from the University of Chicago, of the city-wide boycott. The footage shows marchers from all sides of the city converging at CPS headquarters downtown, empty schools across the city, and "freedom schools" set-up to teach students African American history on the day of the boycott. The film and a companian website will provide a modern perspective on the impact and legacy of this forgotten history 50 years later as it reconnects the participants to each other and the event itself.
We thank the Illinois Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Illinois General Assembly for their funding of this project.
For more information on the project, please email Zak Piper: Zak@Kartemquin.com.