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Lifting as they Climbed: Mapping Black Women’s South Side Histories

March 17 @ 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Please join us on March 17 from 2 to 4:30 p.m. at the Arts Incubator (301 E Garfield Blvd, Chicago, IL 60637) as we celebrate and share our new book Lifting as they Climbed: Mapping a History of Black Women on Chicago’s South Side – A Self-Guided Tour.

This publication features a number of Black women who contributed to the development of Chicago from the mid-19th century to today. It tells a story of Black women activists and artists who lived and worked on Chicago’s South Side by taking readers on a tour of relevant landmarks and locations.

The vast majority of women featured on this tour were active members of multiple organizations who pursued a broad range of issues. Others were artists (writers, painters, musicians, dancers) who both documented the conditions of Black people and shaped the culture of Chicago & the entire country. Chicago’s Black women activists organized to make the city work better for themselves, their loved ones and communities.

There are 33 main locations, mostly centered on the South Side of Chicago, featured in this guidebook. We’ve also included 10 additional sites of interest. This publication tells a story of some Chicago Black women who have shaped the city’s history. Some of these include Marjorie Stewart Joyner, Mary Richardson Jones, Ida B Wells-Barnett, Margaret Burroughs, Alice C Browning, Gwendolyn Brooks, Elder Lucy Madden Smith, Mary G Evans, Bessie Coleman, Fannie Barrier Williams, Nora Holt and many more.

We hope that it sparks an interest in how the past has shaped and currently informs our present.

We are also organizing a tour on March 18 from Noon to 5 pm (including travel) visiting some of the locations and landmarks featured in the book. You can sign up for the tour here.

Space is limited. The cost for the tour is $50 but we are also offering a discounted rate of $25 (which only covers the cost of renting the bus) for those who cannot afford the full cost.


Mariame Kaba and Essence McDowell


Project NIA


Arts Incubator
301 E. Garfield Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60637
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