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How to Spend a Day in Black-Owned Chicago

By Parker Diakite

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Situated on Lake Michigan in Illinois is one of the most fascinating cities in the United States: Chicago. From the skyscrapers, art-scene, entertainment, and food, Chicago is the kind of place that leaves a life impression.

 

Just ask Kanye West, who describes his first interaction with the Windy City at the age of three in his song “Homecoming,” as a place with “so much soul.” That soul Mr. West is referring to has to do with the contributions African-Americans made during The Great Migration to the North , when many blacks during this time created their own businesses, music-style, and communities to thrive in.

 

If you’re planning a trip to Chicago, here’s how to make sure the wind blows you toward black-owned businesses.

 

Book a stay at the Chicago South Loop Hotel

Located in the heart of the historic Bronzeville District, is Chicago South Loop Hotel. This boutique-style hotel offers the best of both worlds for people traveling on business or for leisure.

 

Can’t Start Your Day Without Coffee or Tea?

Then be sure to kick-off your visit to Sip & Savor.  They have locations in Bronzeville, Hyde Park, Rosenwald and SouthLoop.

 

Instagram| sipandsavorchicago

 

Visit the art galleries at the Little Black Pearl & Design Center

The Little Black Pearl is a cultural center that provides opportunities in art, culture and entrepreneurship to youth, adults and families across Chicago. Be sure to check out the works of the young artists.


 

Hungry? Have lunch at the Currency Exchange Café

This café is in Chicago’s Washington Park neighborhood and owned by contemporary artist Theater Gates.

 

Photo| Currency Exchange Cafe

 

Ready to shop?

The Silver Umbrella is a consignment service and boutique store located in Hyde Park.  The company was founded by two sisters in 2014.

 

Book Tickets for a show at the Black Ensemble Theatre

The Black Ensemble Theater is recognized as one of the most diverse theaters in the country.  Its mission is to eradicate racism and its damaging effects through theater arts. View show listings, and book tickets by clicking here.

 

Frontline Books

Located at 5206 South Harper Avenue, is Frontline Books. They are one of only three black-owned bookshops in Chicago.

 

Rebuild Foundation

The Rebuild Foundation, founded by artist Theaster Gates, hosts a wide-array of events, classes and social organizations on a weekly basis.

 

Fine Dining at Pearls Place Restaurant

Pearl’s Place combines home-style foods with a fine-dining restaurant experience.

 

Shall We Wine?

The answer is yes. Shall We Wine is a wine, spirits and beer tasting company that conducts private wine tasting events.

 

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