Skip to contents

‘Cooked’ Screening Brings Experts On 1995 Chicago Heat Wave Together To Discuss How Racism Fueled The Tragedy

Block Club Chicago reporter Jamie Nesbitt Golden will moderate a discussion following the film screening about the policies that led to such a disaster.

  • Credibility:

DOWNTOWN — Eric Klinenberg, author of “Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago,” and Judith Helfand, director of “Cooked: Survival by Zip Code,” will discuss the disaster during a post-screening panel Thursday at the Gene Siskel Film Center.

The film looks at the deadly 1995 Chicago heat wave in which more than 700 people died. It was adapted from Klinenberg’s book.

“Whether it’s a deadly heat wave in Chicago or Hurricanes Katrina, Sandy, Harvey or Maria, these disasters reveal the ways in which class, race, and zip code predetermine who lives and dies everyday, regardless of the weather and who gets hurt the worst and first in the wake of an ‘official disaster,’” a synopsis of the film reads.

Block Club Chicago reporter Jamie Nesbitt Golden will moderate the discussion after the 8 p.m. Thursday screening at the Gene Siskel Film Center. Tickets are $12 or $6 for members. The discussion topic is the “value of social capital and community-based institutions as life saving forces,” according to the film’s website.

“The heat trap of 1995 that left some Chicago residents having to choose between staying ‘safe’ and staying cool, was, and still is, the result of deep-rooted segregationist policies stemming from real estate redlining, restrictive covenants and Mayor Richard J. Daley’s refusal to place public housing in white neighborhoods,” Klinenberg and Helfand wrote in a piece published in the Chicago Tribune. “It is a disaster of our own making.”

Do stories like this matter to you? Subscribe to Block Club Chicago. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.