The novel I'm writing right now is set during the Chicago Freedom Movement of 1966. I just found out that there is going to be a conference exploring and celebrating the 40th anniversary of the movement later this month in Chicago. My sister and her family are going to be visiting us then, so it doesn't make any sense for me to go--I relish every precious minute I can spend with them--but I hope I'll be able to get some of the literature from the conference. Today is actually the 40th anniversary of the Freedom Rally led at Soldier Field by Martin Luther King, Jr. that really launched the whole movement. The rally led to a march down to City Hall, where Dr. King taped these demands to the door.
The main goal of the Chicago Freedom Movement was to end racial segregation and create fair, open housing in Chicago. While progress has certainly been made in the last 40 years, I look at the way Katrina exposed housing issues in the South, and remember that there is still so much change that needs to happen. Writing this novel, I hope, will be a way of keeping that awareness alive.