Illinois Writers Project: “Negro in Illinois” Papers

Dates: 1936-1942. Size: 22 linear feet. Accession #1942/01. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. This Illinois Writers Project study of the African American experience in Illinois from 1779 to 1942 consists of draft chapters, research notes, newspaper extracts, oral history transcripts and draft essays. All the work was destined for the “Negro in Illinois,” an unfinished book on which more than 100 researchers from the Illinois office of the Federal Writers Project collaborated. The study was supervised by Arna Bontemps and Jack Conroy. Among the writers who participated were Richard Wright, Fenton Johnson, Margaret Walker and L.D. Reddick. The majority of this collection is available online in the Illinois Writers Project: "Negro in Illinois" Digital Collection. [Finding aid]