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United States Gotoarrow.png Illinois Gotoarrow.png African American Resources

Chicago American Giants 1919

Contents

Brief History

The Great Migration of African Americans brought many from the rural South to Chicago. Most came from Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas.  By 2008, 15.0% of the population in Illinois was African American, with the majority living within the city of Chicago and the surrounding areas.

Slavery was banned by 1818 when Illinois became a state, though the southern part continued to allow slavery for several more years. This part, called "Little Egypt", was mostly settled by Southerners. By 1853 laws were passed prohibiting all African Americans, including freedmen, from settling in the state. This eventually changed after the Civil War.

In October 1871, the Great Chicago Fire destroyed many buildings and records.

Illinois Repositories with African American Collections

DuSable Museum of African American History
740 East 56th Place
Chicago, IL 60637-1495
773-947-0600
Springfield Illinois African American History Foundation
883 Roanoke Drive
Springfield, IL, 62702
Tel: 217-698-6339

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library has materials on various ethnic groups and ethnic migration patterns as well as a collection of interviews conducted by the Springfield African-American History Foundation. http://www.alplm.org/home.html (see Walsh, p. 10) Search the card catalog.

African Americans in Illinois Places Other Than Chicago has links to library catalogs with African American collections.

Published Sources

Books about African American Research

  • African American Genealogy: a Bibliography and Guide to Sources, by Curt Bryan Witcher is at many libraries (WorldCat).
  • Black Genesis: a Resource Book for African-American Genealogy, by James M. Rose, and Alice Eichholz is at many libraries (WorldCat).
  • Black Roots: A Beginners Guide to Tracing the African American Family Tree, Tony Burroughs; description at Amazon.
  • Family Pride: the Complete Guide to Tracing African-American Genealogy, by Donna Beasley is at many libraries (WorldCat).

Books about African Americans

Additional Published Sources

Web Sites


 

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