Rising out of the discrimination and racism (much of which still exists today) of the early 20th century, Bronzeville became a cultural and political hub. Fueled by the Great Migration and the home of institutions like the Chicago Defender, a black newspaper, it rivaled other meccas like Harlem. Filled with theaters and thriving black businesses, it uplifted and provided a haven for Chicago’s black communities. Local creatives like Louis Armstrong, Richard Wright, and Gwendolyn Brooks, flocked to this neighborhood and in the process enriched Chicago and the country as a whole. Strengthened by this legacy, it continues to be a vibrant neighborhood with impressive monuments, restaurants, and community centers. This neighborhood embodies what it means to be a Chicagoan, to seek refuge, establish roots, and create communities that thrive regardless of the external pressures we may live under.
Consider further supporting this community by visiting some of these spaces!
Monument to the Great Northern Migration
345 E Eastgate Pl, Chicago, IL 60616
Alison Saar’s 1994 work, “Monument to the Great Northern Migration,” honors the approximately six million African-Americans who moved from the South to Chicago from 1910 to 1970. The sculpture depicts a man positioned and pointing northward, with a suitcase in hand, and his entire outfit made of the worn soles of his shoes. It’s placed at the entrance to Bronzeville.
436 E 47th St, Chicago, IL 60653
This a wonderful and bright space dedicated to showcasing multicultural artists who represent the African Diaspora.
Harold Washington Cultural Center
4701 S Martin Luther King Dr, Chicago 60653
The Harold Washington Cultural Center is a performance arts center that features everything from stage plays to dance performances.
4652 S King Dr, Chicago, IL 60653
For breakfast, make sure to check out this bright and always busy location.
Yassa African Restaurant
3511 S King Dr, Chicago, IL 60653
This senegalese restaurant is a neighborhood favorite!
105 E 47th St, Chicago, IL 60615
If you’re craving something sweet, make sure to check out this bakery, which has been apart of the neighborhood for close to 30 years.