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Women's reading group at Hall Branch, 1940
Women; Minorities; Ethnic groups; Librarians; Libraries; Reading rooms; Reading; Books; Tables; Bookstacks; Book clubs; Bookcases;
Begun by Charlemae Hill Rollins as a "reading guidance clinic" for parents, the group evolved into a reader's circle at Hall branch. In this photograph, Vivian Harsh, the first African American branch...
Women's Army Corps (WAC) Band, 1944
Military bands; Musicians; Women; Big bands; Musical instruments; Wind instruments; Drums; Minorities; Ethnic groups;
Women musicians were also drafted during World War II. This all-Black WAC band, formed at an Iowa army post, played at a war bond drive at State and Madison. The band also played jazz at Servicemen's Center...
Richard Wright, 1940, as he completed Native Son
Authors; Men; Minorities;
Chicago lawyer Leon Despres inscribed the back of this photograph when he sent it to Horace Cayton, co-author of Black Metropolis, in 1969. Cayton was then at work on a biography of his friend, Richard...
Richard Durham, 1948
Dramatists; Authors; Journalists; Men; Typewriters; Lamps; Clocks & watches; Paper; Books; Minorities;
From 1948 through 1950, Richard Durham wrote scripts for a series of Black history radio dramas called "Destination Freedom." Durham had analyzed the Black press in Chicago for the Illinois Writers Project...
Poster, Sadie Bruce dance revue program, Civic Opera House, 1948
Dance; Schools; Performances; Advertisements; Women; Dancers; Music education; Minorities;
Sadie Bruce and her sister, Mary Bruce, each operated their own dance schools in Bronzeville. Sadie Bruce's dance studio was located at 54th and Calumet; Mary Bruce's was at 58th and South Parkway. The...
Marian Campfield at the Chicago Defender, 1948
Newspaper editors; Journalists; Women; Automobiles; Buildings; Reporters; Minorities;
City editor of the Chicago Bee in the 1930's and 1940's, Marian Campfield was directly responsible for the Bee's general reporting, and ensured a remarkable coverage of women's events. She had earlier...
Margaret Walker, 1942
Poets; Women; Authors; Minorities;
Margaret Walker's first book of poetry, For My People, published in 1942, was the winner of the prestigious Yale University Younger Poet's Award. This publicity photograph appeared on the dust jacket of...
Langston Hughes and Gwendolyn Brooks, 1949
Authors; Poets; Women; Men; Books; Public libraries; Celebrations; Minorities;
Hughes and Brooks celebrated the publication of an award-winning anthology, The Poetry of the Negro, at the George Cleveland Hall branch, Chicago Public Library. This "definitive anthology," co-authored...
John H. Sengstacke, 1940's
Presidents; Newspapers; Organizations; Men; Business people; Minorities;
Sengstacke served as President of the Chicago Defender until his death in 1997. In 1940, Sengstacke was the driving force behind the founding of the Negro Newspaper Publishers Association, known today...
Horace Cayton with "Blue Boy," 1944
Art collectors; Paintings; Guests; Art; Community centers; Women; Men; Windows; Draperies; Minorities;
Horace Cayton, the director of Parkway Community House, was an avid collector of the art of the Chicago Renaissance. In this photograph, he is showing Charles Sebree's painting, "Blue Boy," to visitors...
Horace Cayton in this office at Parkway Community House, 1941
Offices; Community centers; Men; Desks; Books; Paper; Windows; Baskets; Minorities;
Hired in 1939 as director of Good Shepherd Community Center, Cayton supervised its move to new quarters at 5120 S. Parkway (now King Drive), and suggested that the name of the institution be changed to...
Exhibit of WPA research materials, 1939
Exhibitions; Ethnic groups; Minorities; Economic & social conditions; Research; Churches; Basements; Women; Men; Books; Paper; Tables; Portraits; Waitresses; Servants; Food; Silverware; Clocks & watches;
An exhibit of research supervised by Horace Cayton and funded by the WPA (Works Progress Administration) was presented to the public in the basement of the Church of the Good Shepherd (5700 Prairie Avenue)...
Earl "Fatha" Hines, 1934
Jazz musicians; Men; Minorities;
Born in Pennsylvania, Earl "Fatha" Hines moved to Chicago in 1924. His jazz piano was quickly recognized as among the best in a city then crowded with jazz musicians. By 1928, Hines organized his own big...
Congressman William L. Dawson campaigning, 1940's
Legislators; Political campaigns; Public speaking; Flags; Minorities;
By 1948, Congressman Dawson was arguably the most powerful African American in Washington. Following the upset victory of President Harry Truman over Dewey in 1948, he was named Chairman of the House Committee...
Committee in charge of the celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, 1936
Committees; Ethnic groups; Minorities; History; Celebrations; Anniversaries; Meetings; Organizations; Men; Women; Librarians; Historians; Windows; Tables;
The 1936 meeting of the ASNLH was the first held in Chicago since its founding in 1915. Carter G. Woodson and Vivian Harsh are seated next to each other. Woodson is seated at the front row on the far left;...
Commemorative booklet, Eleanor Roosevelt dedication of the South Side Community Art Center, May 7, 1941
Dedications; Art; Community centers; Minorities;
For the formal dedication ceremonies, the South Side Community Art Center prepared this booklet. "The purpose of the Art Center movement," Illinois Art Project staffer Peter Pollack wrote, "is not to superimpose...
Charlemae Hill Rollins, 1950's
Librarians; Women; Minorities; Authors; Race discrimination;
As children's librarian at the Hall branch of the Chicago Public Library from 1932 to 1963, Charlemae Hill Rollins set generations of Bronzeville youth on paths to achievement. Beginning in the 1930's,...
Catalog, "Exhibition of the Art of the American Negro," 1940
Art exhibitions; Catalogs; Anniversaries; Liberty; Slavery; Minorities;
In 1940, to celebrate the "Diamond Jubilee," the 75th anniversary of emancipation from slavery, the American Negro Exposition was organized at the Chicago Coliseum. The executive director of the Diamond...
C.L. Cook and his Dreamland Orchestra, 1923
Orchestras; Jazz musicians; Jazz; Performances; Advertisements; Concerts; Minorities; Ethnic groups;
Charles "Doc" Cook and his orchestra followed Elgar at Dreamland Ballroom, and headlined there from 1922 to 1927. Keppard was among the big names in jazz who played in Cook's group.
"The War's Greatest Scandal," 1943
Soldiers; Fists; Military uniforms; Arms & armament; Segregation; Minorities; Ethnic groups; Race discrimination; Civil liberties;
This pamphlet, written by Dwight Macdonald, was issued by the March on Washington Movement (MOWM), headed by A. Phillip Randolph. The MOWM called for an end to all segregated practices in the Armed Forces...
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