In the years since Martin Luther King Jr.’s death, Chicago continues to remember the civil rights leader with celebrations, murals, a street name, and more. For the 2016 feature “Remembering Dr. King’s impact on Chicago on the anniversary of his assassination,” Blvck Vrchives founder Renata Cherlise used footage from the March on Washington and photos from the Sun-Times archives to reflect on the time King spent in the city and the ways Chicago maintains his legacy.
The look back begins with a reminder of King’s march in southwest-side Marquette Park.
In 1966, one year after the Selma to Montgomery Marches for voting rights, Martin Luther King Jr. trekked north to Chicago, moving his family into a west-side apartment at 1550 S. Hamlin. King, leading a group of protesters in the all-white neighborhood of Marquette Park as part of the Chicago Freedom Movement, rallied alongside the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) to draw attention to the city’s racial inequalities in housing and education.
King was met with jeering, taunting, and rocks thrown at his head.
“I have seen many demonstrations in the south, but I have never seen anything so hostile and so hateful as I’ve seen here today,” he said of his time in Chicago.
While Marquette Park hasn’t exactly become a symbol of equality since then, vigils, parades, protests, murals, and strolls along King Drive prove that King’s time in Chicago won’t be forgotten.