Lifting as They Climbed: Mapping a History of Black Women on Chicago’s South Side: A Self-Guided Tour


Lifting as They Climbed: Mapping a History of Black Women on Chicago’s South Side: A Self-Guided Tour with authors Mariame Kaba and Essence McDowell.

Tuesday, April 10
5:00-7:00 pm
Arts and Letters 103
Refreshments provided

Lifting as They Climbed is a guide/tour book that features Black women who contributed to the development of Chicago from the mid-19th century to today. This publication tells a story of some Chicago Black women who have shaped the city’s history, including 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. The book is getting a lot of attention, see articles below in the Tribune and the Defender.

The book includes 43 landmarks and locations connected to Black women activists and artists who lived and worked on Chicago’s South Side. The women were active members of multiple organizations who pursued a broad range of issues and 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.

Check out the recent articles about the project in The Chicago Tribune — and the Chicago Defender – website of the project itself is

This event is organized by The Women’s Center and cosponsored by the Center for Black Diaspora, the Departments of African and Black Diaspora Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies, and the Critical Ethnic Studies Program.