84: Harold

84: Harold

Nov 21, 1997
The story of Harold Washington, the greatest politician you've probably never heard of, and the white backlash that was set off when he became Chicago's first black mayor. This weekend is the 30th anniversary of his death.
  • Ira Glass talks with David Axelrod, who was an advisor to Harold Washington and to Barack Obama as well. In 2007, when we last broadcast this show, Ira recorded an interview with Axelrod who was riding on Obama’s campaign bus, during the Democratic Primary in Iowa. Axelrod explained that by 2007, the white Chicago wards that didn’t vote for Harold, overwhelmingly came out for Obama.

    Then, WBEZ reporter Robert Wildeboer talks to some of those voters, in wards where Harold did badly in the 80s, about what changed for them.

    And we hear an excerpt from "Dreams From My Father," where Barack Obama writes about what Chicago was like in the days after Harold’s death. (11 minutes)
    Song:
    • "Chicago", Harold Washington at His Second Inauguration

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