African Americans in Chicago
Six times a year, the editors of the Oxford African American Studies Center provide insights into black history and culture, showing ways in which the past and present interact by offering specially commissioned featured essays, photographic essays, and a selected list of articles that will further guide the reader. The latest Focus On article by Christopher R. Reed looks at the African American community in Chicago.
Bordered on one side by Lake Michigan and by the rest of the United States on all others, Chicago has long been a center of African American history, politics, and culture. From the Industrial Revolution and the Great Chicago Fire through the Jazz Era, two world wars, and the Civil Rights movement, black Chicagoans have been among the nation's savviest entrepreneurs and public servants, and the influence of Chicago's artists, publishers, and spiritual leaders has far exceeded the sprawling city limits. The fifteen photographs that follow provide an architectural and geographic introduction to one of African American history's most significant communities.
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The following entries have been selected to help guide readers who want to understand more about the African American community in Chicago.