Summit Agreement Chicago

In late August, Mayor Daley worked to find a way to stop the protests. After negotiations with King and various housing administrations, a summit agreement was announced in which the Chicago Housing Authority promised to build public housing with limited altitude requirements, and the Association of Death Bankers agreed to provide mortgages regardless of race. Although King called the agreement „the most important program ever designed to make open housing a reality,“ he realized that it was only „the first step in a 1000-mile journey“ (King, August 26, 1966; Halvorsen, „Cancel straight steps“). Just 11 days after his 37th birthday – and after the historic triumphs in Birmingham and Selma, which laid the groundwork for the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and a year later the Voting Rights Act – King had come to Chicago to make the city the next proof of his nonviolent revolution. In the south, King and his supporters had taken Jim Crow`s separation at noon counters, on buses and in election booths; in the north, his crusade, called the Chicago Freedom Movement, would face a less unrepentant, but equally insidious injustice: discriminatory and duplicate real estate practices, such as leadership, redlining and panic pedaling, which have taken the black numbers of metropolitan ghettos. „If we can break the system in Chicago, it can be broken in any place in the country,“ King said at a 1965 community organization summit. But for other black leaders, the summit agreement was synonymous with capitulation. Some have questioned the strength of the Kings` management. Others have questioned the principle of non-violence. The poor is exhausted by this agreement, activist Chester Robinson said at the time. Even some in King`s inner circle, including Bevel and Young, were unsure what they would do with the deal. When the reporter asked Bevel about his reaction, he replied: „I don`t know.

I have to think about it. „Chicago Freedom Movement: Martin Luther King Jr. and The Global Freedom Struggle,“ The King Encyclopedia, kingencyclopedia.stanford.edu/encyclopedia/encyclopedia/enc_chicago_campaign/; „Chicago Freedom Movement,“ PBS, www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/eyesontheprize/story/12_chicago.html; „Chicago Freedom Movement,“ The Encyclopedia of Chicago, www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/293.html. Conflicts and tensions continued to rise until Mayor Richard J. Daley succumbed to pressure and arrived at the negotiating table. The result was a summit agreement that King called „the largest program ever designed to make open housing a reality in a metropolitan area.“ Although the agreement resulted in some positive concessions and benefits, the campaign did not have the desired effect of the Chicago Freedom Movement. King himself ended up being more sober. „Frankly,“ he said, „a few months after the agreement was signed, we found the job bigger than we had imagined.“ In mid-August, negotiations began between leaders, activists and representatives of the Chicago Real Estate Council. On August 26, after the Chicago Freedom Movement declared that it would invade Cicero, an agreement was reached, which consisted of positive measures to open housing in the Chicago area.

[14] The summit agreement was the culmination of several months of direct organization and action.