Fifty years ago the members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) made a historic call. SNCC leader Stokely Carmichael wrote “One of the most disturbing things about almost all white supporters of the movement has been that they are afraid to go into their own communities – which is where the racism exists – and work to get rid of it. They want to run from Berkeley to tell us what to do in Mississippi; let them look instead at Berkeley… Let them go to the suburbs and open up freedom schools for whites.”
Organized by Daniel Tucker, “Organize Your Own: The Politics and Poetics of Self-Determination Movements”, is a multi-city exhibition and event series to take place in Philadelphia at Kelly Writers House (January 14 – February 17, 2016) and Chicago at A+D Gallery (March 3 – April 9, 2016), with events taking place in both cities throughout the exhibitions. Organize Your Own is an exhibition and event series featuring new work by contemporary artists and poets that responds to archival materials related to the history of white people organizing their own working-class white neighborhoods in Philadelphia (the October 4th Organization) and Chicago (the Young Patriots Organization) in keeping with the mandate from the Black Power movement to “organize your own” community against racism.