Overlooking the white students at Austin High in 1968

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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Read the article about the 1968 West Side riots [How the '68 riots rocked Oak Park, News, April 4] and it appeared fairly accurate, but I'd like to add a little perspective about its origins. While it's true that black students from Marshall (and Crane) marched west to Austin High School to "meet up with like-minded peers," as stated in the article, the primary motive for choosing Austin High was to "get whitey."

Marshall and Crane high schools were all black. Austin was two-thirds white at the time. Austin was the destination because that's where the whites were. After the initial riot at Austin, looting broke out on Madison Street as the black students from Marshall and Crane were returning home eastbound. 

I was a 16-year-old white student at Austin High School at the time and present during events related in the article.

Kurt Walther

Oak Park

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