Illinois Legislative Black Caucus (ILBC) Records
9501 South Martin Luther King Drive
Chicago, IL 60628
Extent: 3.75 Linear Feet
In 1966, as the numbers of African-Americans elected to the state legislature was growing, Representatives Harold Washington, Louis A.H. Caldwell, Otis Collins, and Calvin Smith created a study group to discuss political issues and strategies of interest to the black community. In 1969 their group evolved into the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus. As its ranks grew, it became a small but powerful voting bloc, sometimes forging unusual political alliances to win support for the measures they backed.
Scope and Content Note:
The collection consists of correspondence among caucus members; memoranda; press releases; agendas and minutes from caucus meetings; materials from caucus conventions and conferences, including the annual ILBC African-American Issues conferences; financial and administrative materials; and legislative initiatives, policy statements, and research. The bulk of the material covers the period 1979-1991. Many documents deal with the legislative goals of the Caucus and its organizational and fundraising efforts. Some highlights include the vigorous opposition to Governor James Thompson’s budgetary cuts in the late 1970s, campaigns to get IDOT (Illinois Department of Transportation) money distributed more equitably in ILBC districts, and the internal debate over Senator Earlene Collins’ effort to incorporate the Illinois Black Caucus Conference Committee.