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🔎 Help uncover history of Chi segregation

By Sidney Madden | @sidney_madden_

🔎 Building Blocks of Segregation

Urban historian LaDale Winling thinks there could be hundreds or thousands of racially restrictive covenants in the basement of the Cook County clerk’s office — and he could use your help. 

Restrictive covenants were legal documents prohibiting people of color from buying or renting properties in predominantly white areas in the first half of the 20th century, Winling, a Virginia Tech professor, told City Cast. 

Chicago didn’t create covenants but they were popularized on the South and West sides by many Chicago-based realtors during the Great Migration.

Covenants map from People vs. Property pamphlet. Newspaper ad of a “restricted” subdivision in 1924. (Herman Long, Charles S. Johnson / Chicago Tribune / LaDale Winling)

Covenants’ legality started to unravel in the mid-20th century, Winling said.

In 1940, Carl Hansberry challenged the covenant on his home in Woodlawn, then a white neighborhood, in the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Restrictive covenants were deemed unconstitutional in 1948, and outlawed with the Fair Housing Act signed into law in 1968. 

A photo from the film adaptation of Lorraine Hansberry’s award-winning play “A Raisin in the Sun” in 1961. The story was influenced by her father’s 1940 court case. (Rinhart / Corbis / Getty)

The legacy of covenants lived on in redlining and other racist policies, all of which contributed to Chicago’s modern-day segregation.

As volunteers and researchers comb through 2,500 index books in the county clerk’s office, Winling hopes to create a digital archive and maps to help journalists and residents to tell stories of their neighborhoods. 

Want to get involved with the Chicago Covenants Project?
👉 Attend a training Friday or in the coming weeks. 
👉 High schoolers can sign up for covenants camp this summer.

🗳️ Primary Prep: IL’s 3rd District

Two candidates vying for the redrawn district have some name recognition: Ald. Gilbert Villegas and state Rep. Delia Ramirez. 

Constituents now span more of the Northwest Side — from gentrifying neighborhoods like Logan Square and Avondale to longtime Latinx areas like Hermosa and Belmont Cragin — and western burbs like Wheaton and Glen Ellyn. 

But only one Democrat can get the nomination. 

🎧 WBEZ’s Mariah Woelfel breaks down the candidates’ campaigns and shares what she’s hearing from voters ahead of the June 28 primary.

🚨 Early voting begins next week! Check out other important primary dates.

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📰 Newsfeed

One day, two mass shootings in Back of the Yards, Woodlawn. Tuesday ended with at least 21 people shot, two fatally, in separate shootings. No one is yet in custody, officials said Wednesday. [Block Club]

Chicago was named most corrupt city…again. For a third year in a row, the city topped UIC’s annual report as the most corrupt city in the country. Illinois was ranked the third most corrupt state. Is anyone surprised? Former Inspector General Joe Ferguson talked corruption with us last year. [WTTW; City Cast]

What’s at stake in the Chicago Teachers Union election? The powerful teachers union could undergo big leadership changes with next week’s election. Current leaders have been criticized both for being too progressive and not progressive enough. We explored more of CTU’s history earlier this year. [WBEZ, Sun-Times; City Cast]

Riot Fest’s full lineup is out! We already knew My Chemical Romance and the Misfits were headlining the fall fest. Now, Portugal the Man and Bad Religion are also playing at Douglass Park in September! [Riot Fest]

🎰 Bally’s Casino Reactions

How do City Casters feel about the proposed Bally’s casino in River West?

Darren M. of Streeterville said, “I absolutely believe that a casino means crime and turning us into Atlantic City.” The South Side native said given the city’s history, he is worried about fund mismanagement.

❓ River West and North residents, tell us how you feel. Any supporters out there? Reply, or text/call (773) 780-0246. We might feature your answer. 

📝 Bally’s community town hall is at UIC Dorin Forum from 7–9 p.m. Check out the City Cast cheat sheet before you go!

🏟️  Crosstown (Pod) Classic

Chicago really is a sports town, and our teams still need love when they’re not playing at home. 

That’s why our friends at CHGO Sports asked for City Cast’s Jacoby Cochran’s away game bucket list for all the Chi teams — you know, the rivalries and faceoffs so good you have to see in person. 

🐻 Bears: Buffalo Bills 
🐂 Bulls: Denver Nuggets
🏒 Blackhawks: Pittsburgh Penguins
⚾ Cubs: San Francisco Giants
🏀 Sky: Seattle Storm
🧦 Sox: LA Dodgers
😈 DePaul WNCAA: University of Connecticut

Want to know why? Tune into CHGO Sports’ podcast livestream on YouTube at 12:30 p.m. or on other podcast providers later today!