Cover for Schlabach: Along the Streets of Bronzeville: Black Chicago's Literary Landscape. Click for larger image
Ebook Information

Along the Streets of Bronzeville

Black Chicago's Literary Landscape

A street-level panorama of the Black Chicago Renaissance

Along the Streets of Bronzeville examines the flowering of African American creativity, activism, and scholarship in the South Side Chicago district known as Bronzeville during the period between the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s and the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s. Poverty stricken, segregated, and bursting at the seams with migrants, Bronzeville was the community that provided inspiration, training, and work for an entire generation of diversely talented African American authors and artists who came of age during the years between the two world wars.

In this significant recovery project, Elizabeth Schroeder Schlabach investigates the institutions and streetscapes of Black Chicago that fueled an entire literary and artistic movement. She argues that African American authors and artists--such as Gwendolyn Brooks, Richard Wright, Langston Hughes, painter Archibald Motley, and many others--viewed and presented black reality from a specific geographic vantage point: the view along the streets of Bronzeville. Schlabach explores how the particular rhythms and scenes of daily life in Bronzeville locations, such as the State Street "Stroll" district or the bustling intersection of 47th Street and South Parkway, figured into the creative works and experiences of the artists and writers of the Black Chicago Renaissance. She also covers in detail the South Side Community Art Center and the South Side Writers' Group, two institutions of art and literature that engendered a unique aesthetic consciousness and political ideology for which the Black Chicago Renaissance would garner much fame.

Life in Bronzeville also involved economic hardship and social injustice, themes that resonated throughout the flourishing arts scene. Schlabach explores Bronzeville's harsh living conditions, exemplified in the cramped one-bedroom kitchenette apartments that housed many of the migrants drawn to the city's promises of opportunity and freedom. Many struggled with the precariousness of urban life, and Schlabach shows how the once vibrant neighborhood eventually succumbed to the pressures of segregation and economic disparity. Providing a virtual tour South Side African American urban life at street level, Along the Streets of Bronzeville charts the complex interplay and intersection of race, geography, and cultural criticism during the Black Chicago Renaissance's rise and fall.


"Highly recommended."--Choice

"Schlabach strikes a fine balance between acknowledging and illuminating the provocative artistic and political endeavors characteristic of the Chicago Black Renaissance. . . . A rich, artistically oriented micro-history."--Chicago Book Review

"Along the Streets of Bronzeville is a compelling and comprehensive history of Chicago's Black Renaissance. Along with her solid research and masterful prose, Schlabach shares many illustrations and archival documents to give life to this vibrant history of Bronzeville. All scholars interested in the history of Black Chicago, African American cultural history, and literary history at large should read this book."--History: Reviews of New Books

"An insightful study of Chicago's streets, kitchenettes, numbers games, black counterpolitical culture, and artistic and literary figures of the mid-twentieth century. . . . Along the Streets of Bronzeville accomplishes its primary project of extending our understanding of the rich complexity made possible by racial segregation and black cultural ingenuity in the face of white supremacy. Schlabach convincingly encourages renewed attention to black materiality, and aesthetics."--Journal of American History

"A thought-provoking, informative, and unique study. Schlabach offers her own fascinating take on the development of the Black Chicago Renaissance, its creative artists, and most impressively the geographies of the Black Belt as it evolved into Bronzeville and the new black public spaces created by successive waves of black migrants in the first half of the twentieth century."--Robert B. Stepto, author of From Behind the Veil: A Study of Afro-American Narrative


Elizabeth Schroeder Schlabach is an associate professor of history and African and African American studies at Earlham College.

To order online:
//www.press.uillinois.edu/books/catalog/83gwr7wk9780252037825.html

To order by phone:
(800) 621-2736 (USA/Canada)
(773) 702-7000 (International)

Related Titles

previous book next book
Glory in Their Spirit - Cover
Glory in Their Spirit

How Four Black Women Took On the Army during World War II

Sandra M. Bolzenius

Archibald Motley Jr. and Racial Reinvention - Cover
Archibald Motley Jr. and Racial Reinvention

The Old Negro in New Negro Art

Phoebe Wolfskill

In a Classroom of Their Own - Cover
In a Classroom of Their Own

The Intersection of Race and Feminist Politics in All-Black Male Schools

Keisha Lindsay

Black Music Research Journal - Cover
Black Music Research Journal

Edited by Gayle Murchison

The Rise and Fall of the Associated Negro Press - Cover
The Rise and Fall of the Associated Negro Press

Claude Barnett’s Pan-African News and the Jim Crow Paradox

Gerald Horne

Mayor Harold Washington - Cover
Mayor Harold Washington

Champion of Race and Reform in Chicago

Roger Biles

This Is Not Dixie - Cover
This Is Not Dixie

Racist Violence in Kansas, 1861-1927

Brent M. S. Campney

Women, Gender, and Families of Color - Cover
Women, Gender, and Families of Color

Edited by Jennifer F. Hamer

Black Public History in Chicago - Cover
Black Public History in Chicago

Civil Rights Activism from World War II into the Cold War

Ian Rocksborough-Smith

Building the Black Metropolis - Cover
Building the Black Metropolis

African American Entrepreneurship in Chicago

Edited by Robert E. Weems Jr. and Jason P. Chambers

Painting the Gospel - Cover
Painting the Gospel

Black Public Art and Religion in Chicago

Kymberly N. Pinder

Quakers and Abolition - Cover
Quakers and Abolition

Edited by Brycchan Carey and Geoffrey Plank

James Baldwin and the 1980s - Cover
James Baldwin and the 1980s

Witnessing the Reagan Era

Joseph Vogel

Neo-Passing - Cover
Neo-Passing

Performing Identity after Jim Crow

Edited by Mollie Godfrey and Vershawn Ashanti Young