Past Event

Solidarity Forever: Workers and Protest Music in Illinois

A Road Scholar Program by Bucky Halker

Since 1865, Illinois workers have found music and poetry to be a powerful tool for voicing their concerns and complaints about the workplace and economic injustice. Coalminers, iron workers, musicians, printers, stockyard hands, janitors, barrel makers, farmers, and machinists have all stepped forward as bards for the working-class cause.

Their combined efforts have produced more songs and poems of protest than any other state. In 1915, labor advocate and Lombard, Illinois resident Ralph Chaplin wrote “Solidarity Forever,” a song that quickly emerged as American labor’s anthem.

Halker draws on his knowledge of working-class culture, labor history, and folk music, in a program that combines performance and commentary.

Learn more about Bucky Hallker.

This event is Free and Open to the public. For more information, please contact Donna Blomquist, 815-223-2341.