Breakthrough Urban Ministries, a community based organization that provides social services on Chicago's West Side, and the Chicago History Museum collaborated on this oral history project. The Museum worked with Breakthrough's Film Crew, a group of nine young people from East Garfield Park and other West Side communities, to conduct these interviews. Breakthrough and the East Garfield Park Youth Collaborative recruited most of the narrators. Steve Braxton was born in the 1950s in Louisiana. He came from a ten child family of tenant farmers who eventually moved to Chicago as part of the Great Migration. He was drafted into the military as a young man after college and acquired a certain level of discipline that impacted how he worked as an executive for three major companies. Mr. Braxton became active in Lawndale sometime in the late 1990s. He started working in social service organizations as a mentor and counselor. When he moved to Lawndale, he also became active as a board member of some local organizations. In this role he helped fundraise and develop plans for the community.
Great Migration; Vietnam War; U.S. Navy; North Lawndale; Ralston Purina Corporation; Martin Luther King Jr.; Dr. King Legacy Apartments; Lawndale Community Church; Cook County Detention Center; San Diego, California