Category Archives: Voices

Mayor Harold Washington: Champion of Race and Reform in Chicago

If you’ve read Robert Caro’s biographies of Lyndon Johnson, you know what it’s like to be kidnapped by a historian who’s also a great story teller. The reading lamp burns late. I’ve just finished a new book on Illinois history … Continue reading

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A Muslim on the Inside

“Praise the Gods, Martin Luther King is dead.” Monroe Haynes was an 18-year-old in Vietnam fighting a war he did not understand, with people he did not know, when he heard his commander proclaim this statement. Just barely an adult, … Continue reading

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1968 – Not Really So Long Ago or Far Away

“I want kids to see that it wasn’t just Martin Luther King making things happen in the 1960s, it was local folks here as well. Just as it is today.” Katie Snyder, Education Program Specialist, Museum of the Grand Prairie … Continue reading

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Trustee Trip

This past spring, two U of I Trustees set out on a secret mission to solve the seemingly endless Chief Illiniwek problem once and for all. And they did it. But I doubt they’re happy with the result. They hoped … Continue reading

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An Exciting Change in Children’s Literature Book Awards!

Back in February of 2018, I was astonished and excited when I learned that the American Library Association’s Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) was taking a look at the names of its book awards, asking if the award … Continue reading

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Trump Pardons Jack Johnson

On May 24, 2018, President Donald Trump officially signed a posthumous pardon for heavyweight boxer Jack Johnson. As a radical and a sports fan, it was a surreal moment on a number of levels. But to explain how, it is … Continue reading

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