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Albert Raby was a civil rights leader, educator, environmentalist, and Co-Chairman of the Chicago Freedom Movement. Al was born in Chicago in 1933 and grew up in the Woodlawn community. An ambitious self-starter, he taught himself to read in the fifth grade and joined the army upon graduation from high school. Four years later, he enrolled at Chicago Teachers College (now Chicago State University) in education.Al Raby, speaking at a conference.Al's teaching career began at the Hess Upper Grade Center on the West Side where he taught seventh and eighth grade. He soon founded Teachers for Quality Education, a group formed to fight the segregation in the public schools, epitomized by "Willis Wagons," the practice of Superintendent Benjamin Willis (and his Board) of placing mobile classrooms in the playgrounds of overcrowded African American schools, while classrooms in nearby white schools were only partially used.The Coordinating Council of Community Organizations was born out of these efforts and Raby became its leader. CCCO then invited Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to Chicago to lead the Chicago Freedom Movement, which Al Raby and Dr. King co-chaired. Later, Raby was elected to the 1970 Illinois Constitutional Convention where he was a leader in drafting its Bill of Rights.In 1983, Raby became the campaign manager for Harold Washington's historic mayoral campaign. In 1986, he went on to head the Chicago Human Relations Commission, the local watchdog group that fights discrimination.Although Al Raby became a famous civil rights leader, he never lost his commitment to local communities and to grassroots organizing-or to educational opportunities for all children. He was a citywide leader of the tenant union movement, played a major role in community-oriented voter registration efforts and invented a new method for teaching inner city children to read.
Photo measures 8 x 10 in.