A crowd celebrates the renaming of Ida B. Wells Drive (Photo by Jerome Rochelle)
African Americans have been an integral and influential part of Chicago from its very inception, when a Black man from Haiti named Jean Baptiste Point DuSable founded the “Windy City” in the 1770s. There is a long list of Black residents who have made a national and international impact over the past two and half centuries, with the most recent being Barack and Michelle Obama. This precedent of leadership was set by many, including journalist, suffragist and civil rights pioneer Ida B. Wells.
Despite the incredible talent and contributions of African Americans, decades of restricted covenants and redlining relegated the great majority of Black people in Chicago to certain neighborhoods on the city’s south and west sides. Today, the city remains one of the most segregated in the nation. As a result of this…
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