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W. Speaks

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Film Identifier: F.2005-08-0190
Run Time
0h 26m 36s
Mag Stripe
Date Produced
circa 1985
A series of footage depicting Mayor Harold Washington speaking at numerous events - both political and cultural - throughout the city of Chicago. 
The first sequence depicts Harold Washington giving a speech at the Victory monument located at 35th Street and King Drive, speaking about the importance of representing all of Chicago and its citizens regardless of race, class, etc. He also talks of the necessity of cooperation between citizens, the government, and police to help combat crime and other societal ills. Furthermore, he states that the residents of Chicago are not the problem, but rather, the economy, which must be turned around. The speech is followed by a live rendition of the song Oh, What a Beautiful City.

The second speech Washington gives is at the Chicago Blues Festival wherein he thanks the organizers and entities such as WBEZ for working hard to promote the program – this might be footage from the first edition of the festival in 1984. Also, this is back when the festival took place at the Petrillo Music Shell in Grant Park near Lake Michigan, rather than Millennium Park. The camera pans to reveal the revelers eagerly anticipating the festivities. 
This segment is followed by a speech given on the occasion of Hanukah at an unspecified temple or community center in Chicago. The fourth speech takes place at an assembly in a park with Washington's supporters from the LGBT community. Members of the crowd hold signs such as "Dump Vrdolyak," which is in reference to Edward Vrdolyak, who was head of the Cook County Democratic Party at that time. Washington proclaims that he will designate June 27th, 1985, Lesbian and Gay Pride Day, and the Lesbian and Gay Pride Parade will take place on June 30th, 1985. 

There is a brief performance by blues musician Roy Hightower, and another short speech at an LGBT rally somewhere at a park near Lake Michigan (this is also fairly brief). This scene is followed by footage of Washington shaking hands with local citizens. 

The next sequence takes place at a Northwest Neighborhood Federation rally. After a young performer sings the national anthem, Washington gives a speech on housing (however, the sign at the podium now reads "Southwest Parish and Neighborhood Federation," indicating that a separate sequence depicting another housing rally may have been spliced into this one) on the importance of implementing housing programs beneficial to different segments of the population. 

Another speech by Washington is given on the occasion of CityArts Scene and the implementation of that new grant, before the footage reverts back to the previous speech regarding housing.
Main Credits
Stamets, Bill (is filmmaker)
Actors, Performers and Participants
Washington, Harold (is participant)
Related Place
Chicago (represents)