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The Bronzeville community is widely acknowledged for its incredible significance as the port of entry for African-Americans moving north during the Great Migration.  Fewer people know of the significance it holds for African-Americans at an earlier point in Chicago’s history; from 1840 – 1890.  The neighborhood was the site of a prison camp for Confederate Soldiers, home to many freedom seeking African-Americans, and contains Quinn Chapel A.M.E. Church, the home of Chicago’s oldest black congregation. 

Building on the scholarly work of Roosevelt University Professor Christopher Robert Reed, CAF is partnering with the Bronzeville/Black Chicagoan Historical Society to offer the Freedom Seekers tour which illuminates the lesser-known history of Bronzeville and early black Chicago.

The Bronzeville/Black Chicagoan Historical Society (BBCHS) is the primary program partner for this tour.  All content was developed by the BBCHS with help from partners institutions, such as the University of Chicago, and academics including Professor Reed and Glennette Tilley Turner.  The Chicago Architecture Foundation is proud to have served as the tour partner.




To take the Underground Railroad Tour, led by dedicated students of history, contact the Bronzeville/Black Chicagoan Historical Society. bronzevillehistoricalsociety.org




Neighborhood Voices is supported in part by the Chicago Community Trust, National Endowment for the Arts. Art Works, Northern Trust Charitable Trust, Illinois Humanities Council and a generous donation in memory of Ted Peterson, chairman of the board of the Chicago Architecture Foundation, 1994-1995.



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