3 pm to 5 pm
“Immigration, Coalition, and Black-Brown Working-Class Politics in Chicago”
Gordon Mantler, Duke University
Harold Washington’s 1983 mayoral victory in Chicago routinely has been attributed to personal biography, the rise of independent black political power, and the decline of the Democratic machine. This paper argues that his triumph also was made possible by the painstaking community organizing of working class people, such as Rudy Lozano and Jose “Cha Cha” Jimenez, and organizations like CASA-HGT, Local 336, and the Heart of Uptown Coalition. Their tentative coalition-building of African Americans, Latinos, and whites paved the way for Washington’s success - and ultimately represented an alternative politics to “Age of Reagan” narratives that dominate 1980s historiography.
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