Chicago, The Loss of Harold Washington, Community Trauma, and Revitalization
The Honorable Mayor Harold Washington used to say, “This is our country. We don’t have to slip around like peons or thieves in the middle of the night, asking someone for open sesame.” In the wake of both the conviction of a police officer for the murder of a Black adolescent, and Rahm Emanuel’s decision not to run for re-election, Black Chicagoans have an extraordinary opportunity to realize what was started under Harold Washington, as we continue the march toward self-determination and equitable governance. The Need To Know Group, under its imprint, SHE (Surviving, Healing, and Evolving)®, will present a seminar: Chicago, The Loss of Harold Washington, Community Trauma, and Revitalization. This seminar is designed to discuss the history of Black Chicago, the exuberant Harold Washington years, the ways in which his death traumatized the Black community, and how the Black community can recover and become ever more empowered and self-actualized.
Rhonda Sherrod, J.D., Ph.D, a lawyer and Harvard trained clinical psychologist, will present at both the Woodson Regional Library Auditorium (95th and Halsted) on Monday, November 19th at 6:30 pm, and at the Hall Library at 48th and Michigan on the Saturday before (November 17th) at 2:30 pm. Dr. Sherrod, a former HBCU college educator, is the author of the upcoming book, Surviving, Healing, and Evolving, which features a chapter on Harold Washington and Chicago.
“Chicago is at a crossroads, and, historically, Black people have excelled and prospered when they were left to their own devices,” notes Dr. Sherrod. “Just after slavery, during the Reconstruction period, for example, Black people were highly self-sufficient, productive, and fruitful. They created successful businesses, developed meaningful benevolent societies to help each other thrive, built and established educational institutions for their children, constructed dynamic social circles for the promotion of culture and art, and governed themselves intelligently. Always, our problems have centered around the fact that we have been denied equal protection under the law and proper due process. Chicago was founded by a Black man, Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, and there is no legitimate reason why Black people in this city shouldn’t live a good and satisfying quality of life. Black greatness has lived here since the beginning, and we have to determine exactly what we want to do now by understanding what has already been accomplished. We need the right mindset; and we have to get serious about selecting someone who will govern and lead this city fairly.”
The Woodson and Hall libraries were selected for their historical significance. Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the author of several books, including the classic work, The Miseducation of the Negro, was a University of Chicago and Harvard trained historian, as well as the “father” of Black History Month. The George C. Hall library was named after a renown African American surgeon and activist, and is where Vivian Harsh was the first African American to manage a Chicago Public Library branch. Also, the Hall library was designated a “literary landmark” in the year 2000, because it was a gathering place for the brilliant minds of people like Lorraine Hansberry, Gwendolyn Brooks, Richard Wright, Zora Neale Hurston, and Langston Hughes.
The Need To Know Group TM
P. O. Box 306
Maywood, Illinois 60153