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Hyde Park, Woodlawn, South Shore

Timuel Black To Visit Hyde Park Union Church Sunday, Discussing His Century Of Life In Chicago

Black, who moved to Chicago exactly 100 years ago, will detail the city's black history, social justice movements and his personal experiences this weekend at the Hyde Park Union Church.

Activist and historian Timuel Black.
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HYDE PARK — Ever-present historian and civil rights activist Timuel Black will make another one of his regular public appearances Sunday, talking about his life and activism in the historic Black Belt.

Black, who turns 101 on Dec. 7, is the son of Alabama sharecroppers and the grandson of freed slaves. He moved to Chicago as an infant in 1919.

Black will discuss his book “Sacred Ground: The Chicago Streets of Timuel Black,” which came out in January, with co-author Susan Klonsky. The conversation will take place at the Hyde Park Union Church, 5600 S. Woodlawn Ave.

Former Chicago school principal Jay Mulberry will moderate the talk, which runs from 2 to 4 p.m.

Credit: Courtesy of the Hyde Park Historical Society
The book “Sacred Ground: The Chicago Streets of Timuel Black” was released in January.

Chicago’s “confinement of African Americans” was centered in modern-day Bronzeville and stretched from 26th Street to 67th Street and from Cottage Grove Avenue to Wentworth Avenue, Black said.

Black will detail how city policies of redlining and restrictive covenants created the complicated, bustling Black Metropolis he grew up and centered his life around improving.

He’ll also make the case for class, not race, being the defining division of modern times — although race is still a factor, he said.

The discussion will include audience participation. Attendees can ask questions to guide Black through the plethora of topics he’s able to discuss.

Before a century of life taught him about the intersectionality of global struggles, “my world was on 47th Street — the center of the universe,” Black said.

Needless to say, he is excited to continue sharing how his worldview expanded — and the similar lessons young people can take away from his oral histories — at Sunday’s event.

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