Upcoming Events

The Story of the Crawford Family and Civil Rights with Filmmaker Craig Dudnik

Tuesday, February 2, 2021
TIME: 7:30pm - 8:30pm LOCATION: Virtual CONTACT: Jean Hlady, 617.898.4964

This is a program about the injustice of being black in America.  Filmmaker Craig Dudnik has created a film called “Evanston’s Living History” which tells about a people paying a big price for rights and liberties that many of us take for granted; a community whose indomitable spirit influenced the conscience of a nation.  To attend this program, you do not have to watch the film first.  Starting with Anthony Crawford, born into slavery in 1865 in Abbeville, South Carolina, through Emancipation, the promise of Reconstruction, and the Crawford family acquiring 400 acres of prime cotton land, Mr. Dudnik will tell us what happened when the Jim Crow South emerged after the withering of Reconstruction.  Mr. Anthony Crawford was brutally lunched in Abbeville in 1916 and the family was forced to flee to Evanston, Illinois and to the institutionalized racism of the North.  However, Mr. Crawford’s descendants, alongside the families of Emmett Till, Michael Schwerener, James Earl Chaney, and Andrew Goodman worked to gain passage of the U.S. Senate Resolution 39, which apologized for the failure of the Senate to enact anti-lynching legislation.

From this talk, learn about Evanston’s greatest generation, and their courageous fight to free the city from the bondage of racial discrimination.  You will hear stories about the celebrated accomplishments of several black Evanston residents, including Edwin Jourdain, the city’s first black alderman, former police chief William Logan, former fire chief Sanders Hicks, and former mayor Lorraine Morton.  Says Dudnik: “The individual stories combine to tell a national story about a group of people who transformed a community through dignity and humanity.”  We encourage you to attend this event via Zoom, and be inspired by the courageous fight for freedom and equality.

Craig Dudnik graduated from Northwestern University, received a national award for his camerawork on the syndicated television program, PM Magazine, and founded Imagine Video Productions, eventually gaining clients from all over the world, and especially at ABC News.  He covered the Democratic National Convention in 1996 as a news cinematographer, and became lifelong friends with Mrs. Viola Hillsman while in college, who introduced him to many of her friends.   After she passed away at the age of 100, he remained in contact with several of these individuals who then shared personal accounts of their struggles against racism which became the basis for this film.  Craig has also created the film “Alice’s Ordinary People” about Civil Rights activist Alice Tregay, which we showed at the library in Spring 2019.  Mr. Dudnick’s documentaries have been acquired by hundreds of public and university libraries worldwide.

Advance registration is required here; a Zoom connection link will then be Emailed to you on the day of the program.

This program is kindly sponsored by the Friends of the Milton Public Library.

You can register here!

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