'The Negro In Illinois: The WPA Papers' - Panel Discussion and Book Signing
Date: Sat. September 28, 2013
Time: 12:00 pm
9525 S. Halsted Street
About this event:
Editor Brian Dolinar and a panel consisting of Darlene Clark Hine (The Black Chicago Renaissance), Christopher Reed (Black Chicago's First Century), Adam Green (Selling the Race: Culture and Community in Black Chicago, 1940-1955) discuss the importance of the WPA Papers.
The Negro in Illinois was produced by a special division of the Illinois Writers Project, one of President Roosevelt’s WPA programs. It was researched by a team of more than 100 writers, activists and scholars, including Richard Wright, Margaret Walker, Katherine Dunham, and Richard Durham. The resulting manuscript was edited by the project’s leaders, Arna Bontemps and Jack Conroy.
Beginning with Jean Baptiste Point DuSable, and tracing Illinois Black history and culture through more than 150 years, this study was unprecedented. After the project was closed down with U.S. entry into World War II, Bontemps and Conroy submitted it for publication without success. The research materials and many book chapters were given to Vivian G. Harsh, founder of the Chicago Public Library collection which bears her name. But this great achievement of the Chicago Black Renaissance was never in print until now. The book, published by University of Illinois Press, is now available, seventy years after it was completed.