"Women of the Black Chicago Renaissance"
presented by Brian Dolinar, editor
Saturday, March 14, 2 PM
Author Presentation and Reading
Saturday, March 14, 2pm
Revolution Books is excited to welcome back Brian on the occasion of the publication in paperback of his groundbreaking book, The Negro in Illinois: The WPA Papers. He will present on the women of the literary and cultural movement known as the "Black Chicago Renaisance" in the 1930s. Drawing from his book, he will highlight African American women such as dancer Katherine Dunham and poet & novelist Margaret Walker who worked on the Illinois Writers' Project, as part of the WPA established by President Roosevelt. He will also talk about the group of women who first recovered the history of Chicago's Black founder, Jean Baptist Point Du Sable. This event is free and we will pass the hat to keep Revolution Books growing.
"Women of the Du Sable Memorial Society, 1933."
Brian Dolinar is a scholar of African American literature and culture from the Depression era. He is editor of The Negro in Illinois: The WPA Papers (University of Illinois Press, 2013), and author of The Black Cultural Front: Black Writers and Artists of the Depression Generation (University Press of Mississippi, 2012). He has taught history and African American Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His writings have appeared in African American Review, Langston Hughes Review, Southern Quarterly, and Studies in American Humor.
The Negro in Illinois, The WPA Papers
A unique chronicling of African American history, The Negro in Illinois: The WPA Papers was originally produced during the 1930's Depression era by the Illinois Writers' Project, a program of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) under President Roosevelt. Headed by Harlem Renaissance poet Arna Bontemps and white proletarian writer Jack Conroy, The Negro in Illinois employed major Black writers in Chicago during the 1930s, including Richard Wright, Margaret Walker, and Katherine Dunham. Doing interviews and scouring old newspapers and courthouse records, the writers told the story of the African American experience in Illinois. They wrote about music, the movement to abolish slavery, sports and housing, from the beginnings of slavery to the Great Migration. After Roosevelt pulled the plug on the project in 1942, most of the writings went unpublished for more than half a century...until now.
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