Chicago history

Discovery in attic: long-hidden letters & diaries

Standing under naked beams in the attic’s dim light, we discovered a large box labelled in my mother’s neat printing: “Lil and Fred’s Letters and Diaries.” I ripped off the packing tape and folded back four cardboard flaps. A misty spray of dust and the odor of old paper wafted up....

When anger transforms to mental illness

Grandma K was delusional, depressed, and vicious just months before my parents were to be married. Was it mere coincidence? Or did...

“Would you panic if a Negro moved next door?” Sat. Evening Post

In July 1962, a few months after I graduated from grade school and one year before the first black family moved onto our block, The Saturday Evening Post, a venerable magazine of the time, ran an article entitled, "Confessions of a Blockbuster." I highly recommend it to understand how insidious racist lending policies, exploited by real estate predators, undermined the housing dreams of both black and white families.

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