"Celebrate Hansberry's Victory at Forum Meet"

Chicago Defender

Alfred Brock

Saturday, November 30, 1940


A victory celebration program dedicated to the five lawyers in the Hansberry case was sponsored by the Chicago City-Wide Forum, Sunday at Good Shepherd Congregational Church, before a representative audience which assembled to ascertain the significance of the decision handed down by the United State Supreme Court on November 12, and the next steps to be taken in the fight against restrictive covenants.

The Hansberry versus Lee case which resulted in victory for Carl A. Hansberry, was brought against him for purchasing property at 6140 Rhodes avenue, located in the West Woodlawn Property Owners Organization, an area they contended was "for whites only." The court upheld the claim of Mr. Hansberry that this agreement barring Negroes from living in the Washington Park area, from Sixtieth to Sixty-third streets; and from South Parkway to Cottage Grove avenue in Chicago, is non-existent.

Traces Evil to Source

"These covenants," said Mr. Hansberry, "are usually caused by insidious propaganda, chiefly through the newspapers and movies, constantly depicting the Negro at his worst; and absentee landlords.

"What can be done? We can use the full force of the law to attack malicious propaganda, do away with absentee landlords, fight for increased education along political and industrial lines, and for full social and citizenship equality," he concluded.

Assistant Attorney General Loring B. Moore recounted the history of the case and the events which led to its being brought to the nation's highest tribunal.

In discussing "Where do we go from the Hansberry decision?" Atty. Truman K. Gibson, Jr. said "There must be an intelligent awareness of where we stand in the changes going on about us, and we must be prepared to take advantage of these changes and insist on our rights."

Victory has not yet been obtained," said Ald. Earl B. Dickerson. "The victory of the Hansberry case assures us only of the right to live in the Washington Park area. We must continue the fight to live anywhere we please. There are many vital questions yet to be considered: the double and triple school shift system, lack of proper health facilities, unwholesome and over-crowded living conditions which are a contributing factor to the breakdown of family life." In conclusion, Mr. Dickerson said, "We must be willing to pay the price for Democracy."

Other speakers were Miss Josephine Matson of the Chicago PanHellenic Council; Atty. DeFrantz R. Williams, the Cook County Bar Association; Atty. George A. Blakey, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; Mrs. Bessie Willis, Chicago Council of Negro Organizations, and Golden R. Darby of the Negro Chamber of Commerce.

Congratulatory telegrams were read by Atty. Ulysses S. Keys, president of the forum.

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