Outspoken: Chicago’s Free Speech Tradition is meant to encourage civic debate about the issues that have consumed Chicago in the past and that occupy our attention today. The stories you will see here are part of a larger history of political, artistic, and social ferment in Chicago over more than 150 years. Throughout the 1800s, Chicagoans, like other Americans, struggled over definitions of democracy and citizenship. That debate was transformed as industrialization and mass migration in the twentieth century created a new context for free speech. And since 1950, Chicagoans have wrested with the legacy of racial segregation, the Cold War, and deindustrialization.
Outspoken was made possible with major funding provided by The Insitute of Museum and Library Services and generous support by The Chicago Reader and Dr. and Mrs. Tapas K. Das Gupta.