City Cast
July 18, 2023

How Block Clubs Helped Shape Chicago

For a century, Chicago has had an enduring, complicated, and nostalgic relationship with block clubs — small, volunteer-based community groups. They began to assist Black people moving to Chicago from the South, but they’ve also been used to foster white solidarity in support of segregation. And block clubs have led beautification efforts, organized community members, and thrown block parties across Chicago. We revisit our conversation with Dr. Amanda Seligman, author of “Chicago’s Block Clubs: How Neighbors Shape The City,” about the history of these clubs.


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