Williams, Jeanette M.
Dr. Williams is a Professor Emeritus of Biology at Kennedy-King College. She received her Ed.S. from Northern Illinois University.2012 0-7734-2581-0
This social history narrates conditions that led to the founding of Kennedy-King College on the Southside of Chicago, Illinois, during the late 1960s. It connects the dots between birth of the college and the push for social justice led by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). SCLC joined with other groups in 1966 and launched the “Chicago campaign” to tear down racial barriers. The main narrative tells how concerns with social justice and ethnic group efficacy gave birth to Kennedy-King College in the first place. As for political and cultural time of day, this was after the glory days of the civil rights movement. African Americans had pushed forcefully for social justice mainly with non-violent, direct action protest and had realized some gains. But calm change gave way to the black student movement during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Student activists used combative tactics to effect change at a number of college campuses in the city and nearby suburbs. With first-person accounts, the work reports details of the student led changeover from Wilson Junior College to Kennedy-King. Key persons who lived and made the college’s history during 1969-2007—presidents of the college, faculty, staff, and students—tell their own stories from memories of their experiences in their own terms. In the main, this work has great potential as a general reference in African American history and culture. It also has clear value as a teaching reference about what everyday people with shared needs did and can do. It makes clear in the end why so many viewed Kennedy-King College as a symbol of African American self-reliance.