The Springfield Free Public Library will begin its celebration of Black History Month at 2:00 PM on Sunday, February 2, with a screening of the documentary film, Alice’s Ordinary People, along with an accompanying presentation by the film’s creator, Craig Dudnick.
Alice’s Ordinary People tracks the history of the Chicago Freedom Movement which took place between mid-1965 through August 1966 and which was considered to be the most ambitious civil rights campaign in a northern state; it is largely credited with inspiring the 1968 Fair Housing Act. The movement included a large rally, marches, and demands on the city government of Chicago that covered a wide range of areas beside open housing, including quality education, transportation and job access, income and employment, health, wealth generation, crime and the criminal justice system, community development, tenants’ rights, and general quality of life.
Craig Dudnick is a 1980 graduate of Northwestern University. In 1982, he received a national award for his camerawork on the syndicated television program, PM Magazine. The following year, he founded Imagine Video Productions®, eventually gaining clients from Europe, Japan, and at ABC News. For the latter he covered the Democratic National Convention in 1996 as news cinematographer.
While an undergraduate at Northwestern, Craig grew close to Mrs. Viola Hillsman and her husband Tinsley, with whom he worked in the kitchen of a campus fraternity. His lifelong friendship with the couple was the subject of a feature on the NPR radio program, “The Story with Dick Gordon.”
After Mrs. Hillsman passed away at age 100, a number of her friends shared personal accounts of their struggles against racism in Evanston, Illinois, which became the basis of Craig’s documentary, Evanston’s Living History. Fellow Evanstonian Alice Tregay liked the film and asked Craig to make a second documentary--this one about the Chicago Freedom Movement. The result was Alice’s Ordinary People.
Before the screening begins, Mr. Dudnick will provide a brief overview of the Civil Rights Movement leading up to the events presented in his documentary. Following the screening, he will participate in a Q & A session.