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Chicago Painted Chocolate: Art and the Great Migration

Image credits from left to right: Richard Hunt, 2019

Program Description

Cohosted with The HistoryMakers and the [Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH)]( https://asalh.org/), Manilow Senior Curator Naomi Beckwith leads a panel conversation featuring luminaries in Chicago's art world including artist Richard Hunt and Masequa Myers, Executive Director of the South Side Community Art Center, about the past and future of black space in Chicago. Starting with the Great Migration and stretching into the ways black artists find space and community in our contemporary art world, the panel dives into the particularities of how Chicago has been shaped by its racial history.

Held on ASALH’s Founders’ Day, the program will tie in the association’s 2019 theme of urban migration. The discussion will examine the Great Migration’s continued impact on art in Chicago—with particular consideration to how African Americans make up the majority of Chicago’s population but are often underrepresented. The discussion seeks to illuminate the past and the present and consider where the city is headed as a creative hub.

MCA Talks highlight cutting-edge thinking and contemporary art practices across disciplines. This talk is organized by The HistoryMakers and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), in collaboration with MCA Curator January Parkos Arnall.



The [HistoryMakers]( www.thehistorymakers.org), a 501(c)(3) national nonprofit organization headquartered in Chicago, has grown over the past nineteen years into the nation's largest African American video oral history archive. The HistoryMakers Collection houses 10,000 hours of testimony, recorded from interviews in over 413 US cities and towns as well as Norway, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Its purpose is to educate about the history, lives, careers, and contributions of African Americans. In 2014, the Library of Congress became The HistoryMakers' permanent repository.

The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) was founded at Chicago's Wabash Avenue YMCA on September 9, 1915 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson. Today, ASALH is the premier Black Heritage learned society with a strong network of national branches and partners whose diverse and inclusive membership are continuing the legacy of Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the father of Black History Month. ASALH's mission is to promote, research, preserve, interpret, and disseminate information about Black life, history, and culture to the global community.

Lionel Kimble Jr. is an associate professor of history at Chicago State University. His work examines African American labor politics in Chicago during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s and is the author of A New Deal for Bronzeville: Housing, Employment, and Civil Rights in Black Chicago 1935-1955. He is active member of the Black Chicago History Forum and currently serves as Vice President for Programs for the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.


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