Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Timuel D Black Jr  

Pen Name: None

Genre: History Non-Fiction

Born: 1918 in Birmingham, Alabama

Sites:


Illinois Connection

Black was raised in Chicago and spent the rest of his life there.

Biographical and Professional Information

Timuel D. Black is a foremost authority on the Great Migration. He is a Chicago socialist and long time friend and colleague of President Barack Obama. Black is a Professor (emeritus) of the City College of Chicago. He serves on the Advisory Board of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, a position he has held since at least 2002.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Bridges of Memory: Chicago's First Wave of Black Migration (Chicago Lives)
ISBN: 0810123150

Northwestern University Press. 2005

Recipient of 2007 The Hyde Park Historical Society Paul Cornell Award
Recipient of 2007

The Hyde Park Historical Society Paul Cornell Award

A collection of interviews with African Americans who came to Chicago from the South. In their first great migration to Chicago that began during World War I, African Americans came from the South seeking a better life--and fleeing a Jim Crow system of racial prejudice, discrimination, and segregation. What they found was much less than what they'd hoped for, but it was much better than what they'd come from--and in the process they set in motion vast changes not only in Chicago but also in the whole fabric of American society. This book, the first of three volumes, revisits this momentous chapter in American history with those who lived it.

Oral history of the first order, Bridges of Memory lets us hear the voices of those who left social, political, and economic oppression for political freedom and opportunity such as they'd never known--and for new forms of prejudice and segregation. These children and grandchildren of ex-slaves found work in the stockyards and steel mills of Chicago, settled and started small businesses in the "Black Belt" on the South Side, and brought forth the jazz, blues, and gospel music that the city is now known for. Historian Timuel D. Black, Jr., himself the son of first-generation migrants to Chicago, interviews a wide cross-section of African Americans whose remarks and reflections touch on issues ranging from fascism to Jim Crow segregation to the origin of the blues. Their recollections comprise a vivid record of a neighborhood, a city, a society, and a people undergoing dramatic and unprecedented changes.

Bridges of Memory: Chicago's Second Generation of Black Migration (Chicago Lives)
ISBN: 0810122952

Northwestern University Press. 2008

Winner of 2006 Jewish Council on Urban Affairs Courageous Voices Award

In the second volume of Bridges of Memory, historian Timuel D. Black Jr. continues his conversations with African-Americans who migrated to Chicago from the South in search of economic, social, and cultural opportunities. With his trademark gift for interviewing, Black-himself the son of first-generation migrants to Chicago-guides these individual discussions with ease, resulting in first-person narratives that are informative and entertaining.
Picking up where the first book left off, volume 2 introduces the reader to more members of the first wave of migration and also members of the second generation, the children of those who came in the first wave. In telling their stories, the interviewees paint a vivid picture of the thriving and tight-knit Chicago community formerly known as the Black Belt-today's historic Bronzeville neighborhood. They bring to life the role of family, religion, business, music, and, most of all, the hopes, dreams, and perseverance that enabled a group of people to establish a successful community within a larger society that seemed determined to keep them from success. The experiences of these diverse and vivid personalities often illustrate the role that racial prejudice has played in shaping the specific arcs of their lives. But personal histories such as these are not just chronicles of frustration and despair

more important these narratives reveal an unwavering dedication to breaking the color line and a tireless pursuit of their right to the promise of America.