The History of Black Chicago with Dr. Courtney Pierre Joseph - Context Travel

The History of Black Chicago with Dr. Courtney Pierre Joseph


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Chicago is one of the cities with the largest Black population in the United States. How did this occur? This seminar looks at how Black migration to the city shaped its history, politics, and culture.

Black Chicago’s origins can be traced back to Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable, a Black man of Haitian descent who established the first non-native settlement in the city around 1780. Later, the Great Migration (1910-1970) brought Black people from the south and the Caribbean to pick up his legacy. People like Margaret Burroughs, Robert Abbott, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Harold Washington settled in the city and made space for more people like them to come and thrive in Chicago. Moreover, by the end of the 1900s, many Haitian people began to call Chicago home, much as DuSable did a century before.

Led by an expert on African American history, Dr. Courtney Pierre Joseph, this interactive seminar will provide an overview of the history of Black Chicago. Designed to inform curiosity and future travels, participants will come away with an increased awareness of the importance of Black people, their history, and their culture to Chicago’s development.

Courtney Pierre Joseph is an Assistant Professor of History and African American Studies at Lake Forest College. Her specializations are in African American history and culture, Haiti and its diaspora, women and gender studies, and hip hop culture. Joseph earned her Ph.D. in History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2017. She has spoken at numerous institutions, including the DuSable Museum of African American History, and at various events, including the fall 2020 Chicago Humanities Festival. Dr. Joseph is currently working on her first book, tentatively titled DuSable’s Diaspora: Haiti, Blackness, and Belonging in Chicago.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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