Sacred Ground

E-book – $24.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-3925-1

Trade Paper – $24.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-3924-4
Publication Date
January 2019
Trim Size
6 x 9

Sacred Ground

The Chicago Streets of Timuel Black
Timuel D. Black Jr., as told to Susan Klonsky, edited by Bart Schultz

Timuel Black is an acclaimed historian, activist, and storyteller. Sacred Ground: The Chicago Streets of Timuel Black chronicles the life and times of this Chicago legend.

Sacred Ground opens in 1919, during the summer of the Chicago race riot, when infant Black and his family arrive in Chicago from Birmingham, Alabama, as part of the first Great Migration. He recounts in vivid detail his childhood and education in the Black Metropolis of Bronzeville and South Side neighborhoods that make up his "sacred ground."

Revealing a priceless trove of experiences, memories, ideas, and opinions, Black describes how it felt to belong to this place, even when stationed in Europe during World War II. He relates how African American soldiers experienced challenges and conflicts during the war, illuminating how these struggles foreshadowed the civil rights movement. A labor organizer, educator, and activist, Black captures fascinating anecdotes and vignettes of meeting with famous figures of the times, such as Duke Ellington and Martin Luther King Jr., but also with unheralded people whose lives convey lessons about striving, uplift, and personal integrity.

Rounding out this memoir, Black reflects on the legacy of his friend and mentee, Barack Obama, as well as on his public works and enduring relationships with students, community workers, and some very influential figures in Chicago and the world.
About the Author

TIMUEL D. BLACK JR. has spent his life furthering the cause of social justice, and his two volumes of oral histories, Bridges of Memory: Chicago's First Wave of Black Migration and Bridges of Memory: Chicago's Second Generation of Black Migration, published by Northwestern Univeristy Press, chronicle black Chicago history from the 1920s to the present.

SUSAN KLONSKY is an educator, writer, and community activist. She and her husband, Mike Klonsky, are the authors of Small Schools: Public School Reform Meets the Ownership Society.

BART SCHULTZ is a senior lecturer in humanities and director of the Civic Knowledge Project at the University of Chicago. He is the author of many works, including Henry Sidgwick: Eye of the Universe.

“Timuel Black reminds us that we can learn so much from the knowledge and history that are generated—and vibrantly live—within the personal stories and lived experiences of the people and communities around us.” —Elizabeth Todd-Breland, author of A Political Education: Black Politics and Education Reform in Chicago since the 1960s