United Front of Cairo. Broadside, 1972 | Illinois History and Lincoln Collections
This collection contains a broadside advertising the United Front of Cairo’s 3rd Annual Survival and Solidarity Celebration in April 1972. The broadside lists many participants in attendance, including the founder of the organization, Charles Koen.
The United Front in Cairo, Illinois, was a coalition of Black activist organizations founded in 1969 by Reverend Charles Koen (1945-2018). Koen had also founded the Black Liberators in St. Louis, Missouri, the previous year. The United Front organized in response to a vigilante group called the “White Hats” or the “Committee of Ten Million”. The White Hats had been deputized by Cairo city officials in 1967 and harassed black neighborhoods and organizations. Although the group was ordered to disband by the State of Illinois in 1969, the harassment continued. The United Front organized demonstrations and boycotts of white businesses throughout the 1970s. The violent period of racial unrest in Cairo from 1967-1973 caused many residents to leave Cairo.
This collection consists of a 1972 broadside from the United Front of Cairo, Illinois. The broadside is printed in black on a 10.25 by 13.5-inch sheet. It advertised the 3rd Annual Survival and Solidarity Celebration at St. Columba Church. It includes a list of participants, including the United Front’s founder Charles Koen; Fleeta Drumgo and John Clutchette, two of three men known as the Soledad Brothers, who were accused of killing a prison guard in California; and Sallye Davis, mother of political activist Angela Davis.
The library purchased this collection in 2022 with the support of the Bruce C. Creamer Fund.