How and why did so many of Chicago’s Black communities fall into disrepair during the 1950s and 1960s, while the surrounding white areas created middle class wealth that endures today? Join the Chicago South Side Film Festival and Illinois Institute of Technology’s Office of Community Affairs for the premiere screening of The Chicago Plan.
The 40-minute documentary film chronicles the early history of Chicago’s Neighborhood Improvement Associations that prevented Blacks from moving into white communities due to a fear that their presence automatically devalued property. Black families who dared to move into white communities faced ostracism, vandalism, and house bombings. When the Great Migration heightened competition for housing, the color line was drawn and a race riot ensued. What started out a self-serving myth of endangered property values evolved into a self-fulling prophecy, owing to its adoption by the real estate industry.
A panel discussion will take place following the screening, and will be moderated by Alicia Bunton, assistant vice president of community affairs for Illinois Tech. Panelists include:
- Lee Bey, the Chicago Sun-Times architecture critic, writer, and photographer; also the author of Southern Exposure
- Don Hayner, the retired editor-In-chief of the Chicago Sun-Times; author of Binga: The Rise and Fall of Chicago’s First Black Banker