Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Operation Breadbasket survived about 10 years, from the launch in Atlanta in fall 1962 to the depressing shut down in Chicago in 1972, after the schism between the SCLC and Jesse Jackson. 
The two main repositories for Breadbasket materials are not surprisingly in Atlanta and Chicago.
In Atlanta there are folders dedicated to Breadbasket at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta. In the same location other information about the main people involved in the project can be found at Records of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Change, Inc., King Library and Archives, Atlanta. To investigate the role that King played in the project a good source is King, Dr. Martin Luther, Jr. Papers, Martin Luther King. Jr. Center for Non violent Social Change, Inc. King Library and Archives, Atlanta.In Atlanta, at the Auburn Avenue Research Library there are folders focused on the first Breadbasket’s executive director. 
The collection of Fred C. Bennette covers the years 1960 to 1985. The collection contains photographs, news articles, and minutes, and other printed materials which documents Fred C. Bennett's involvement with Civil Rights Movement in Atlanta.
Chicago is an inestimable source of information about Operation Breadbasket under the leadership of Jackson. The logic start is the PUSH Museum, although is more a collection of artifact rather than written sources.A better place is the Chicago Museum that hosts a permanent exhibition on the Chicago Freedom Movement.At the Rainbow PUSH Coalition Headquarter there is a sort of archive that embraces most of the activities of Jesse Jackson and his team, from the beginnings at Operation Breadbasket to the present days.Another source is the Afro-American Collection at Central Library, Chicago. The Collection is one of the most important and extensive on the subject in the whole country and an invaluable source of information on Black struggles in Chicago.
There are also a few other collections about Operation Breadbasket outside Atlanta and Chicago. The Massoni Collection is Los Angeles was established by Gary Massoni, one of the three co-founders of Operation Breadbasket in Chicago in 1966. Massoni is also the celebrated author of a Master of Divinity Thesis on Breadbasket.
On Taylor Branch’s At Canaan’s Edge there is a short remark that connect Harry Wachtel to Breadbasket. “When Wall Street lawyer HarryWachtel asked whether Operation Breadbasket really hoped for more than token jobs and corporate write-offs, Jesse Jackson bristled againdoubts from “a slave-master.” (page 641).

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