The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
This document is an announcement issued by the Comité Provisional del Mejoramiento de Nuestra Comunidad [Temporary Committee for the Betterment of Our Community] for a public meeting on March 28, 1978, at the Rockwell Baptist Church in West Town, a Latino neighborhood in Chicago, to protest the demolition of the building that housed the mural Breaking the Chains. The flyer features a photograph of the mural and poses the questions: “Are you going to allow the city to demolish this building?” and “If they demolish this building, when are they going to demolish your home?” It also reminds neighborhood residents that they must preserve their art in order to preserve their neighborhood.
This flyer, which invited residents to a community meeting that was sponsored by a number of activist organizations in Chicago, aimed to organize residents to protest the destruction of a building at 1456, North Rockwell Avenue. The residential building—which was the site of the mural Breaking the Chains, painted by John Weber and a team of assistants in 1971—became a symbolic site around which residents of the East Humbolt Park neighborhood protested the extreme and seemingly systematic destruction of residential housing in their neighborhood. It evinces how, when threatened with the loss of a powerful mural that served as an important community marker, East Humboldt Park residents were moved to stand up against demolition and speak out against the calculated destruction of their Latino community. This document also conveys how, during the 1970s, the mural movement in Chicago was integral to community activism, including housing rights and efforts to counter the decline of urban Latino areas.