King in Chicago

In January 1966 Martin Luther King, Jr. came to Chicago to launch his first direct action campaign in the urban north. “We are going to create a new city,” he told his staff in the run-up to his move. “Nobody will stop us.” Drawing on Dr. Boyle’s new book, The Shattering: America in the 1960s (W.W. Norton, 2021), this seminar follows King’s campaign from its first frigid days in Lawndale to its climactic struggle out in the bungalow belt. Along the way it explores the racial system that ran through Chicago in the 1960s, with its toxic mix of structure, power, anger and fear. And it ends with a consideration of the consequences of the campaign’s failure to make Chicago the new city King had imagined it could be.