Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Historical mural unveiled at Burnside Scholastic Academy on Thursday, June 5

Burnside Scholastic Academy is unveiling a mural which recounts protests which led to Burnside becoming an integrated school, and opened the doors for the rest of the Chicago Public Schools system.

The public is welcome to join the school at 9:30am to unveil the mural. Burnside is located at 650 E. 91st place (near 91st & St. Lawrence, behind Tuley Park).

Tony Burroughs, a student at Burnside during the movement, was instrumental in getting the mural established, and work with youth to tell the story.

Carolyn Elaine is the artist who, along the school's art teacher, helped the youth create this mural. Ms. Elaine developed the concept and details.

There is also a surprise for former students who participated in the protest.

Please see the  Facebook event page with more details.

We will try to post an update, with more information when available.

Full Disclosure: My daughter is a student of Burnside, and Worlee's child is an alum.

EDIT: Here is the official press release (please excuse the editing -- some problems on our end):

Tony Burroughs
Burnside Principal Kelly Thigpen: 773/535-3300

*Burnside Sit-In Mosaic Tile Mural*
*Dedication -- **June 5, 2014***
*Burnside****Scholastic****Academy**, **650 East 91^st Place***


A ribbon cutting for a 300 sq ft beautiful broken tile art mosaic mural will be held at Burnside Scholastic Academy on Thursday June 5, 2014 at 9:45am. The mural is dedicated to the historic 1962 sit-in at Burnside. Renowned muralist Carolyn Elaine ( <>), designed the mosaic with Burnside students and art teacher Sarah Didricksen. Elaine has designed mosaic murals for many buildings and public art in Chicago. Internationally known genealogist Tony Burroughs ( <>) conducted workshops with students on Black History and Civil Rights in preparation of the mural design. Burroughs was one of the sit-in students and his mother was one of the organizers.


May 17^th marked the 60^th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. The movement to desegregate schools in Chicago began on January 2, 1962 with a sit-in at Burnside Elementary School. It was organized by PTA mothers and was the spark that ignited the Civil Rights Movement in Chicago. Three of the PTA mothers, in their 80s, and four of the sit-in students, in their 60s, plan to be in attendance at the dedication.

The Burnside Sit-In inspired ministers, Civil Rights workers from the NAACP, Urban League and Freedom Riders to support the protest. Momentum grew and inspired mothers at other schools to protest. This lead to The Woodlawn Organization (TWO) and the Coordinating Council for Community Organizations (CCCO) to protest Willis Wagons, temporary mobile classrooms built to relieve overcrowded schools in African American communities. This was led by a young Reverend Arthur Brazier.

CCCO, CORE and the Chicago Friends of SNCC organized a city-wide school boycott the next year on October 22, 1963. Approximately 250,000 students stayed home. It was the largest school boycott in the country. Dr. Martin Luther King said the Civil Rights Movement in Chicago was the most organized movement in the north. King came to Chicago in 1965 to support the fight for education and returned in 1966 to fight for housing and jobs.

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