Jan 14, 2022 - News

Remembering Martin Luther King Jr. in Chicago

Martin Luther King Jr.

Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King in Chicago, 1966. Photo: Bernard Kleina

We celebrate Martin Luther King Day on Monday, commemorating a man with many ties to Chicago.

Why it matters: It's been 56 years since King famously moved to Chicago to protest housing inequality as part of the Chicago Freedom Movement.

Driving the news: There are a handful of activists and advocates who spent time with King still living in Chicago today. Here are just a few:

Rev. Jesse Jackson: Arguably the most influential and powerful of King's inner-circle, Jackson was with him in 1968 when he was assassinated in Memphis.

  • Must watch: The Hulu Documentary "Summer of Soul" features Jackson on stage in 1969 telling the assassination story just months after it happened.

Dorothy Tillman: The legendary Chicago alderperson served for 22 years. Before that, she was a civil rights activist who marched with King in Chicago.

Rep. Danny Davis: The West Side congressman was right there with King during the Freedom Movement in 1966. He has continued the fight for affordable housing in a number of political jobs since 1979.

  • Fun fact: With Bobby Rush retiring, Davis takes over as the longest serving congressman in Illinois (if he wins reelection).

Carol Moseley Braun: As a young girl, Moseley Braun marched with King in Gage Park.

  • She later became an Illinois state representative and was the first Black woman to serve in the U.S. Senate.

Bernard Kleina: The photographer documented King's time here, including a march in Marquette Park when Chicagoans struck him with rocks.

People on street in Chicago
A Freedom Movement march down South Kedzie Ave. in August 1966. Photo: Bernard Kleina

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