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DuSable Black History Museum
DuSable Black History Museum; photo by Abel Arciniega :: @tequilagraphics

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Black culture in Chicago

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Chicago wouldn’t be the place it is today without a long line of Black Chicagoans who have helped shape the story of our great city.

From poets to chefs to presidents, Chicago’s Black visionaries have made history and broken barriers in art, music, cuisine, literature, and beyond. And a visit to Chicago isn’t complete without exploring and celebrating these cultural contributions.

Here are just a few ways to experience Black history and culture in Chicago, from the perspective of the city’s Black residents, leaders, and change makers.

Experience Chicago’s Black history

Black Chicagoans have been instrumental in shaping many of the city’s, and the nation’s, most important historical moments. Here are just a few ways to experience Black history and heritage around Chicago.

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Immerse yourself in Black art and culture

From the start of the Great Migration through the present day, Chicago has been home to a rich tapestry of Black art and culture. Explore the diverse array of Black arts organizations across the city.

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Dine at Black-owned restaurants

Chicago’s thriving Black-owned restaurant community offers diners an array of options, including authentic international dishes, Chicago-style barbecue, James Beard Award-winning cuisine, and beyond.

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I want Chicago Mahogany Tours to be a vessel to highlight the South and West sides. Chicago’s the greatest city on earth, AND there’s way more history to be found beyond downtown.

Shermann “Dilla” Thomas,
TikTok star and founder of Chicago Mahogany Tours

I want Chicago Mahogany Tours

to be a vessel to highlight the

South and West sides.

Chicago’s the greatest city on earth,

AND there’s way more history to be

found beyond downtown.

Shermann “Dilla” Thomas,
TikTok star and founder of Chicago Mahogany Tours

 

 

Explore Dilla’s favorite spots in Chicago

Chicago's musical scene

Black musicians have had a powerful impact on Chicago's music scene. Explore venues, festivals, and more ways to experience these iconic Chicago genres.

Explore Black history in Chicago’s neighborhoods


Bronzeville
Bronzeville has a long history as a hub for the African American creative community. That living legacy continues today, intertwined with the neighborhood’s many art galleries, classic eateries, and authentic character.

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Pullman and Roseland

Home to Chicago’s only National Historical Park, these neighborhoods have played a key role in the labor rights movement. Today, community-led initiatives are shifting the narrative of these deeply historic neighborhoods.

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Spotlight on Chicago's Black voices

<h4 id="guichards">Andre and Frances Guichard: Gallery Guichard</h4>

Andre and Frances Guichard: Gallery Guichard

“My mom had regaled me with stories of Bronzeville’s heyday because she grew up here. It was just a no-brainer; we had to open the gallery in Bronzeville because we had to pay homage to our heritage, our culture, and the people who came before us.”

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<h4 id="angela-barnes">Angela Barnes: Nobody's Darling</h4>

Angela Barnes: Nobody's Darling

“We definitely wanted to make sure that the space was women-centered. And for us, that meant women— not just queer women, but all women — felt comfortable being there. We started with that as our center point and expanded outward.”

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<h4 id="dominique-leach">Dominique Leach: Lexington Betty Smokehouse</h4>

Dominique Leach: Lexington Betty Smokehouse

“It means something to me to be living proof of what’s possible. I come from nothing. My mom is a single mother and she struggled. And I work hard to be that proof to other people. You can make something out of nothing.”

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<h4 id="danielle-mullens">Danielle Mullen, Semicolon Bookstore & Gallery</h4>

Danielle Mullen, Semicolon Bookstore & Gallery

“We have people from all walks of life that come in and they say the exact same thing: It feels like home, and they just want to sit and hang out all day. If you have never felt at home anywhere else, you will definitely feel at home here.”

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Erick Williams: Virtue Restaurant & Bar

Erick Williams: Virtue Restaurant & Bar

“Virtue is geared toward being an unapologetically Black space that would be open and inviting to anyone that walked in the door, and would represent the best and most cherished parts of our culture through food and the treatment of people.”

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