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Memorial Hall Library

Alice's Ordinary People: A Virtual Conversation with Filmmaker Craig Dudnick

alice's ordinary people
Wednesday, June 16, 2021 - 7:00pm

Join us for a virtual conversation with Craig Dudnick, maker of the film, Alice's Ordinary People. Register in advance to receive the link to join. The link will be emailed to you 24 hours and 1 hour in advance of the presentation. You should also watch Alice's Ordinary People through Kanopy in advance. Kanopy is a streaming movie service that is free to Memorial Hall Library cardholders. It is also available to anyone with a Boston Public Library ecard. You can find the film and start watching at or reserve a copy of the DVD.

About the film:

Alice’s life story reads like a history of the movement. Early on she fought the “Willis Wagons.” These second class structures were built to relieve overcrowding in those Chicago schools which served the African American community. Their very existence perpetuated segregation.

In 1966, Dr. King came to Chicago. Alice and her husband James Tregay, marched with him, often at great personal risk. It was at this time that Dr. King joined the Reverend Jesse Jackson, and the Reverend James Bevel, to form Operation Breadbasket. Breadbasket fought racism on many fronts, but its main task was jobs for African Americans, particularly from those businesses drawing profits from the African American community. Under the leadership of Reverend Jackson, the months that Alice and her “ordinary people” spent picketing led to real change. But it was through her Political Education class that Alice had her most significant impact. Over a four year period, thousands were trained to work in independent political campaigns. This new force was integral to the re-election of Ralph Metcalf to Congress (this time as an independent Democrat), to the election of Harold Washington as mayor, and to making Barack Obama our first African American President. Alice’s contribution is unique in American history, and an hour program can only tell so much. It is Craig's hope that one day a book will also be written on this important subject.

This event is hosted by Chelmsford Library in partnership with other Libraries Working Towards Social Justice, including Memorial Hall Library.