Obama Declares Historic Black Chicago Neighborhood A National Monument
When President Barack Obama travels to Chicago on Feb. 19 to name the Pullman area on the city’s Far South Side a national monument, the event will be steeped in historical meaning for the once-thriving Black community, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Chicago’s Pullman District community, 13 miles south of the Downtown area, was the nation’s first model industrial town built in 1880 to attract skilled workers to the Pullman Palace Car Company, which invented train sleeper cars, according to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Many of the now-defunct company’s maids and train porters were Black men and women, who served a mostly White clientele, mirroring the white-black slavery dynamic in the U.S.
But the well-tended leafy community also had a historic connection to the first all African-American union in the country—the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, which was organized by A. Philip Randolph. The Tribune…
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