The 15 Best ‘This American Life’ Episodes (So Far)

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#84: “Harold”
Original broadcast date: 11/21/97

This “parable of politics and race in America” tells the remarkable story of Harold Washington, the first black mayor of Chicago, who served from 1983 through his death in 1987. His initial campaign was ugly, marred by shockingly pronounced racial attacks; “Harold” digs up tapes and other stunning remnants from that era, and asks how far we’ve come.