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Crossing Parish Boundaries

Timothy B. Neary. Crossing Parish Boundaries: Race, Sports, and Catholic Youth in Chicago: 19151954. Chicago, University of Chicago Press (2016).

The author makes good on his promise to tell “the little-known and largely forgotten story of Catholic interracialism prior to the modern civil rights movement.” Founded in 1930, the Catholic Youth Organization brought together boys and girls from all over Chicago. Its Protestant counterpart, the YMCA, was still segregated, but the CYO included participation from black neighborhoods right from the start. The institutional commitment by the Catholic Church is what made this exceptional story in Chicago history possible, but the dynamo who led the led the effort was Bishop Bernard Sheil.

In his Author! Author! blog series, Museum president Gary T. Johnson highlights works that draw on our collection.

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