Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Chicago Defender Building

Chicago Defender Building

The Chicago Defender is an African American newspaper founded in 1905. According to one photo I saw on the NPR web, site (http://www.pbs.org/blackpress/news_bios/defender.html), the paper's banner once touted itself as "The Mouthpiece of 14 Million People: Carries More Live News of Racial Interest Than Any Ten Weeklies." One fascinating bit of history is that the Defender's voice was a major driving force behind the Great Migration, the movement of 1-1/2 million African Americans to the northern United States between 1915-1925. The numbers are mind-boggling to me. Over less than 3 years, more than 110,000 people migrated to Chicago alone! Where did they put all those people?
I have to confess that I have never read this paper, now called the Chicago Daily Defender. I'm not a native of Chicago and I'm not African American. I don't even subscribe to any of the other Chicago papers.
The Defender building has been vacant since 2006 and is on watch-lists for threatened historic architecture. The building was originally home of the Illinois Automobile Club. If you look closely at the weather-vane on top you can see that it is a car.

5 comments:

self taught artist said...

I love the crunchy sesame texture of this building. It looks like a tasty wafer.
cool picture!

sarala said...

Thanks, self.

Pat said...

My grandfather published poetry in the Chicago Defender back in the 30's. I'm interested in hearing from anyone else who has/had family who also published in the column "Lights and Shadows." There's precious little information about this group and I'm interested in knowing more. Thanks.

Pat said...

Wonderful photo! My grandfather published his poetry in the Chicago Defender's column "Lights and Shadows" back in the 30's.
I'm interested in hearing from anyone who has/had family who also was a "LaSer". There's not much information about this wonderful group of poets from that time and I'd like to know more. Thanks in advance.

Delaney Hall said...

I know this is a real long-shot since this post was published long ago, but I'm interested in getting in touch with Pat, the commenter whose grandfather published poetry in the Lights & Shadows column back in the 1930s.

I'm currently working on an article about Lights & Shadows for the Poetry Foundation in Chicago and I'd be very interested to get in touch with Pat to learn more about his (or her?) grandfather's writing. I have a lot of archival clippings I could show you and know a little bit about the column. I'd be happy to share what I've learned.

Please get in touch if you get this message. My email is dhall (at) poetryfoundation (dot) org.

Thanks!

- Delaney