Gwendolyn Brooks: Chicago’s Poet

Gwendolyn Brooks

Although born in Topeka, Kansas, a century ago, on June 7, 1917, Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks will always be remembered as a true Chicagoan. Brooks grew up in Chicago, where she began her writing career at 11, when she mailed a number of her poems to community newspapers. The Chicago Defender published a few of her earliest […]

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#TBT: Charlie Parker’s First Recording

For today's Throwback Thursday, let's remember jazz musician Charlie Parker (1920-1955), who first recorded 75 years ago on April 30, 1941. Charlie Parker was a legendary Grammy-winning jazz alto and tenor saxophonist who, with Dizzy Gillespie, created the musical style called bop or bebop. Celebrate the musical talent of Charlie Parker with these library materials. Archives Charles Walton Papers are an […]

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Brenda Eichelberger: Black Feminist

In celebration of Women's History Month, I'm highlighting the achievements of Brenda Eichelberger and the National Alliance of Black Feminists. Open to “any black woman interested in advancing the cause of black feminism,” the National Alliance of Black Feminists was dedicated to achieving full equality for black women in America. Brenda Eichelberger decided to respond to an […]

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The Chicago Origins of Black History Month

The story of Black History Month begins in Chicago during the late summer of 1915, when Dr. Carter G. Woodson traveled from Washington, D.C., for the State of Illinois-sponsored celebration of the 50th anniversary of emancipation. Woodson had a display on black history at the Chicago Coliseum, which served as the exhibit hall. Now known […]

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#TBT: It’s a Double Woodson Birthday Celebration!

This month Carter G. Woodson Regional Library celebrates two important birthdays on December 19; let's honor them for this Throwback Thursday. The library marks its 40th year of service to the city, and it's the 140th birth anniversary of the building's namesake, Carter Godwin Woodson. Carter G. Woodson Regional Library opened December 19, 1975, in […]

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#TBT: 70th Anniversary of Ebony Magazine

This month Ebony celebrates its 70th anniversary. The pictorial news magazine was first published in November 1945 by Chicago-based Johnson Publishing Company. John H. Johnson created the magazine to share stories of African American life, with the goal of refuting stereotypes and inspiring readers to overcome racial barriers. Today's Throwback Thursday post takes a look at Ebony's […]

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#OBOC: Emmett Till’s Legacy

Thomas Dyja discusses the impact of Emmett Till's murder in chapter 26, "What Kind of World Do World Do We Live In?" of The Third Coast.  Read on to learn more about this momentous event. The murder of Emmett Louis Till 60 years ago, on August 28, 1955, was the spark that ignited the civil rights […]

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Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Juneteenth

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862. However, it took almost three years before news spread of the proclamation that all American slaves were freed. This historic moment happened on June 19, 1865 when General Gordon Granger arrived in […]

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Extraordinary Local Women of History

Despite a few snowy days, spring has officially arrived and March is almost over. Let's wrap up Women's History Month by highlighting the contributions of two Chicago women. Vivian G. Harsh The first African American branch head at the Chicago Public Library and an early leader in the movement to preserve African American history, Vivian Gordon Harsh was often described as […]

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Remembering Civil Rights Activist Rev. Willie Barrow

Willie Barrow

The Rev. Willie T. Barrow, an advocate for civil rights and social justice, passed away Thursday after a long illness. She was 90. She spent her life fighting for the rights of minorities, the LGBT community, women and union members. Barrow was born December 17, 1924 in Burton, Texas. She settled in Chicago in 1943 […]

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