|
(Adam Jones / Flickr)

With the nation racing to come to grips with centuries of racial sins, officials plan to remove the Capitol lawn statue of Stephen A. Douglas, whose forceful 19th century politics helped forge modern-day Illinois but who also profited from slavery.

|
In this Sept. 11, 2017, file photo, the Tribute in Light illuminates in the sky above the Lower Manhattan area of New York, as seen from across the Hudson River in Jersey City, N.J. (AP Photo / Jason DeCrow, File)

In a year when the coronavirus pandemic has reshaped countless American rituals, even the commemoration of 9/11 could not escape unchanged.

,
|
(WTTW News)

After a three-year, student-led grassroots campaign, the Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners voted to officially remove the name of Stephen Douglas from what’s now temporarily known as Park 218. 

|
Emmett Till and his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley.

The painful legacy of Emmett Till seems fresh amid this era of civil unrest. We reflect on his death with Ollie Gordon, Till’s cousin, and Chris Benson, who co-authored an autobiography of Mamie Till-Mobley, Till’s mother.

|
In this Jan 27, 2020, file photo, Virginia Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy holds her son, Alex Foy, as she and Delegate Hala Ayala, D-Prince William, back, celebrate the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment in the House chambers at the Capitol in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo / Steve Helber, File)

It was a huge step forward for American women when, exactly 100 years ago, they finally gained the guaranteed right to vote with ratification of the 19th Amendment. But to Alice Paul, the step wasn’t nearly large enough.

|
This combination photo shows the book cover for "This Is Your Time," left, and a portrait of the author Ruby Bridges. (Random House via AP)

Civil rights activist Ruby Bridges has written a children’s book with a candid telling of the past and positive message for the future, inspired by the Black Lives Matter protests.

|
An empty pedestal in Grant Park where a statue of Christopher Columbus stood recently. (WTTW News)

After protests forced Mayor Lori Lightfoot to remove the city’s statues of Christopher Columbus, the city will launch an effort to “provide a vehicle to address the hard truths of Chicago’s racial history,” the mayor’s office announced Wednesday. 

|

Thursday marks the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. Where the fight for ballot access goes next.

,
|
(WTTW News)

Is it time to abolish, or radically alter the way history is taught in Illinois schools? A debate over how the subject is taught.

|
Steve Schapiro speaks with WTTW News.

He took memorable pictures of Martin Luther King Jr. and traveled with writer James Baldwin. Steve Schapiro talks about what he witnessed in the United States back then — and what he is seeing today.

|
Orland Park Police Chief Tim McCarthy appears on “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. (WTTW News)

The Secret Service agent who took a bullet to protect President Ronald Reagan has spent the last 26 years as chief of police in Orland Park. We speak with Tim McCarthy ahead of his Aug. 1 retirement.

|
An empty pedestal in Grant Park where a statue of Christopher Columbus stood recently. (WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot ordered the temporary removal of two Christopher Columbus statues in Chicago last week following protests that turned violent. Now, activists are hoping to make their removal permanent — but the debate isn’t over.

|
(Courtesy Jill Wine-Banks)

She broke many barriers as an attorney in a male-dominated arena, but perhaps her greatest battle was as a tough-questioning prosecutor in the Watergate case. We speak with Chicago native Jill Wine-Banks.

|
City municipal crews help guide the Christopher Columbus statue in Grant Park as it is removed by a crane, Friday, July 24, 2020, in Chicago. A statue of Christopher Columbus that drew chaotic protests in Chicago was taken down early Friday amid a plan by President Donald Trump to dispatch federal agents to the city. (Tyler LaRiviere / Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

While some aldermen praised Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s decision to take down the statues of Christopher Columbus, others said Friday she should not have acted unilaterally in the middle of the night.

|
Courtney Johnson, a South Side resident, stands in front of a vandalized statue of Christopher Columbus in Grant Park on Saturday, June 15, 2020. (Evan Garcia / WTTW News)

A towering likeness of Christopher Columbus no longer stands in Chicago’s Grant Park after Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot ordered for its “temporary” removal.

|
Someone took matters into their own hands and unofficially changed the name of Douglas Park on signage earlier in 2020. (WTTW News)

Students leading the movement to change the name of Douglas Park said they were frustrated to have been left out of the board’s meeting Wednesday, and for their broader campaign to have been ignored.