Along the Streets of Bronzeville
Black Chicago's Literary Landscape
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: University of Illinois Press
Series: The New Black Studies Series
Gwendolyn Brooks, a lifelong resident and Bronzeville native, once wrote, “If you wanted a poem, you had only to look out of a window. There was material always, walking or running, fighting or screaming or singing.”1 Brooks did an interview much later in life where she was asked if she were disturbed by this environment ...
Chapter 1. From Black Belt to Bronzeville
The South Side of Chicago was dubbed the Black Belt during the late teens. Crowds of people milled about day and night. Popular in the late teens and 1920s, the Stroll—South Parkway Avenue (presently Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard)—was the center of Chicago’s Black Belt. ...
Chapter 2. The South Side Community Art Center and South Side Writers Group
During the Chicago Black Renaissance, there were many community institutions that cultivated the arts, nurtured a budding African American modern consciousness, and carved the way for future generations of migrants, Chicagoans, and African American artists and authors. ...
Chapter 3. Policy, Creativity, and Bronzeville's Dreams
African Americans flocked to Bronzeville, the nation’s most prominent black community, between the wars. Chicago’s labor shortage lured migrants north where work seemed to be the answer to Southern race problems. This belief in the ethics of work helped some capitalize on the migrant experience ...
Chapter 4. Two Bronzeville Autobiographies
Gwendolyn Brooks, a lifelong Bronzeville resident and the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize, showed an abiding commitment to the people of Bronzeville in this 1969 interview with Contemporary Literature; this commitment made her poetry and fiction so powerful for the duration of her literary career. ...
Chapter 5. Kitchenettes
As Black Chicagoans and the most prominent figures of the Chicago Black Renaissance, Richard Wright and Gwendolyn Brooks stood at the forefront of this vibrant movement in Windy City life. They stand as literary models of the Chicago Black Renaissance, a movement, Adam Green stresses, that engendered a unique cultural consciousness ...
Bronzeville’s writers, gamblers, musicians, artists, and businessmen and businesswomen revolutionized their fields. The neighborhood produced the most famous African American male and female writers of that time—Richard Wright and Gwendolyn Brooks. ...