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Documentary parallels story of Galveston Reads’ book - The Galveston County Daily News : Leisure

November 27, 2014

Documentary parallels story of Galveston Reads’ book

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Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 12:15 am

GALVESTON — “Goin’ to Chicago” is a documentary that chronicles one of the most momentous yet least heralded sagas of American history — the great migration of African-Americans from the rural South to the cities of the North and West.

The film will be shown at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Seibel Wing Student Center at Galveston College, 4015 Ave. Q.

The stories in this movie parallel the stories told in “The Warmth of Other Suns,” by Isabel Wilkerson, which is the 2014 Galveston Reads selection.

A discussion following the program will be moderated by Alan Griffin. After World War II, increasingly self-assertive and prosperous blacks led a bitterly resisted struggle to open up fair housing opportunities outside the ghetto.

This 60-minute film traces the period after World War II when four million black people created a dynamic urban culture outside the South, changing America forever.

This history is told through the personal stories of a group of older Chicagoans who were, for the most part, born in the Mississippi Delta.

They share their bitter recollections of sharecropping — owing half of each crop to the landowner, the backbreaking labor in the fields from sun up to sun down.

A steelworker, newspaper columnist, blues musician and others movingly recall their journeys up Highway 61 to Chicago in search of comparatively well-paying factory jobs.

On Chicago’s South Side, they built a vibrant city within a city of thriving black businesses and civic institutions proudly referred to as “Bronzeville.”

This program is free and open to the public. Parking is available in the lot at 39th St. and Ave. Q.

Contact Gavin Sheaffer at Rosenberg Library, 409-763-8854, Ext. 118.