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Changing the narrative: African Americans in Evanston

In case you missed it: Dino Robinson of Shorefront Legacy Center and Kris Hartzell of the Evanston History Center presented an outstanding talk about Black history in Evanston earlier this week, thanks to Hallie Esbin Rosen and the Chicago Architecture Center.

This past June, the Evanston City Council passed a resolution recognizing the sites and buildings that speak tangibly to the role African Americans played in shaping our community. For way too long, the contributions of Black Evanstonians have been diminished or completely left out of historical records and narratives.

While many buildings have not been afforded the formal protection of historic preservation efforts, the community is now committed to recognizing this cultural legacy with historic markers and education.

So far, thanks to the work of Dino and Robin Rue Simmons 5th Ward Alderman, who championed the resolution, eight sites have been identified.

Far too many white Evanston residents (and Black Evanston residents for that matter) don't know anything at all about the history of Evanston's Black community.

Take an hour on this rainy day and watch the presentation.

Then, keep asking, learning, and most of all support the Evanston reparations initiative, the first municipal reparations effort in the country.

If you'd like to get on the mailing list to get involved in efforts for the white community to support Evanston's reparations initiative, please email

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