The Long Civil Rights Movement in Chicago: Ann Harrigan and Women's Catholic Interracialism, 1933-1948
Karen Johnson, University of Illinois at Chicago
Commentator: Jane Dailey, University of Chicago
In 1942, Ann Harrigan, the Catholic daughter of Irish immigrants, left her job as a New York City school teacher and moved to Chicago’s black belt to open Friendship House to work for interracial justice. Harrigan emulated the saints of old as she struggled to subjugate her body to her religious ideals. In doing so she obtained power to speak for interracialism among whites and challenged many of the priests and laypeople who fought to keep blacks out of their parishes. Harrigan’s story highlights the contours of Catholic interracialism and the intersection of race, religion, and the body in civil rights activism.
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The Newberry Library Seminar on Women and Gender is co-sponsored by the History Departments of Northeastern Illinois University and the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture at the University of Chicago
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