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How to Use The Images


Inquiry Question

Historical Context



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Drawing 2


Table of

Visual Evidence

Drawing 1: The Engine of Progress

[Graphic] Drawing 1 with link to higher quality drawing.
(The Negro in Chicago, 1779-1929, Washington Intercollegiate Club of Chicago, Inc., 1929.)

This image appeared in The Negro in Chicago, 1779 to 1929, a 312-page compendium subtitled "the Wonder Book," which celebrated the accomplishments made at a high point of the community's development. "The Engine of Progress" accompanied a short article which lamented the fact that most African Americans had their savings invested in institutions that "generally exploit Negroes and certainly won't employ them above the level of janitor." But the Black Metropolis, with its own institutions, held hope that there was "a great future in store for the Negro in Chicago."

1) What is the central image in this drawing?

2) The buildings pictured are, clockwise from upper right, the Chicago Defender Building, the Knights of Pythias building, the Chicago Bee Building, the YWCA building, and the YMCA building. Why do you think the artist chose to include each of these buildings? (Refer to paragraphs 5, 7, and 9 of the reading.)

3) What does the artist view as the "engine of progress" for African Americans in 1929? How might it "pull" them to a better future ?

* The image on the screen has a resolution of 72 dots per inch (dpi), and therefore will print poorly. You can obtain a high quality version of this photo, but be aware that the entire file will take about 90 seconds to load with a 28.8K modem.




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