Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Chicago

Unite, 1971 | Courtesy National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution
Spring 2020

Gallery: Works from the Black Arts Movement in Chicago

A group of artists, musicians, dancers, poets, and writers in Chicago gave birth to the rich aesthetic based on Black American experience known as the Black Arts Movement (BAM). Below are just a few examples of their work.

Read about a new documentary on BAM in Chicago from WSU Vancouver associate professors of English Thabiti Lewis and Pavithra Narayanan.

Spring 2010

Video: Chicago gangs in the 1950s

Fifty years ago James F. Short Jr., a young sociologist at Washington State University, was asked to lead a study of Chicago gangs.

In this narrated slideshow, Short tells the stories behind photos of the groundbreaking 1956 study. You can read the story “Gangs of Chicago” here.

Spring 2010

Gangs of Chicago

Fifty years ago James F. Short Jr., a young sociologist at Washington State University, was asked to lead a study of Chicago gangs.

In smoky pool halls on Roosevelt Road, the baseball fields of Douglas Park, and the windy street corners of Lawndale, Short and a team of youth workers and sociologists spent three years trying to figure out if boys with monikers like Smack Daddy, Duke, and Commando were so very different from their counterparts in wealthier parts of the city.

The resulting groundbreaking analysis opened a window into the everyday experience of the Vice Lords, the Egyptian Cobras, the Imperial Chaplains, and the … » More …