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Newberry Library (Chicago, IL 60610-3380)
Donald Bradford Hunt (Project Director: January 2018 to September 2018)
Karen Christianson (Project Director: September 2018 to present)
Chicago Reflects on the 1919 Race Riots

Implementation of a city-wide series of eleven public programs and development of digital resources exploring the history and aftermath of the Chicago race riots of July 1919 on the centenary.

The Newberry Library, in partnership with ten Chicago cultural organizations, seeks an NEH Community Conversations grant to support Chicago Reflects on the 1919 Race Riots. This city-wide series of 11 conversations and four digital resources will address the searing events of Chicago’s summer of 1919, when white fear of black migration, coupled with volatile economic conditions, sparked violence. Our proposal joins, for the first time, major cultural institutions and several smaller, award-winning, community-based non-profits. Together, we propose a varied and creative lineup of community conversations proposed aimed at racially, ethnically, and generationally diverse audiences across the city. Our events encompass a wide range of formats, including thoughtfully mediated conversations, film premieres, youth poetry slams, and a bike tour. Each provides opportunities to consider how humanistic work from past and present has responded to 1919 and reflected upon its legacies.

[Grant products][Media coverage][Prizes]

Project fields:
African American History; American Literature; Urban Studies

Community Conversations

Public Programs

$200,000 (approved)
$196,729 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2018 – 3/31/2020