In early August of 1963, a protest took place at 73rd street and Lowe in Englewood at a site where the Chicago Board of Education was installing “Willis Wagons,” which were aluminum trailer classrooms used to perpetuate de facto school segregation. The trailers were ordered to be placed on the playgrounds and parking lots of many African American schools as a permanent solution to overcrowding by CPS Superintendent Benjamin Willis.
The site was by train tracks. Protestors picketed and covered the area with garbage. Police and protestors clashed, resulting in many people being thrown in paddy wagons. Comedian/activist Dick Gregory, Lillian Gregory and organizer Rosie Simpson took part in the protest. Other protestors ID’d in a news articles below are William Yancey, Sibylle Bearskin, and Janet Haywood.
We have footage of the protest that took place in early August, 1963 at 73rd and Lowe. Watch it below. If you participated in that protest, please contact us through the site or at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you know anybody who took part or recognize anyone in the video, encourage them to contact us.
Below are some photos and articles from the Chicago Daily News concerning the protest: