About This Lesson
The lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places registration file "Black Metropolis Thematic Nomination" and several other primary and secondary sources. It was written by Gerald A. Danzer, professor of history at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Adrian Capehart, Dee Woodtor and Harold Lucas kindly provided personal insight into Chicago's Black Metropolis. TwHP is sponsored, in part, by the Cultural Resources Training Initiative and Parks as Classrooms programs of the National Park Service. This lesson is one in a series that brings the important stories of historic places into the classrooms across the country.
Where it fits into the curriculum
Topics: This lesson could be used in units on early 20th-century urban history, especially the migration of African Americans to the city. The lesson will help students develop skills of historical thinking and reflect on the value of historic preservation.
Time period: 1900-1929
Relevant United States History Standards for Grades 5-12
Relevant Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Find your state's social studies and history standards for grades Pre-K-12
Objectives for students
1) To place the historic Black Metropolis in the changing urban pattern of Chicago.
2) To identify key events in the history of the Black Metropolis.
3) To explain how the surviving buildings reflect the history of the Black Metropolis.
4) To apply the process of historical inquiry to their own community to identify special historic places that might merit official recognition.
Materials for students
The materials listed below either can be used directly on the computer or can be printed out, photocopied and distributed to students. The maps and photographs appear twice: in a low-resolution version with associated questions and alone in a larger, high-resolution version.
1) three maps of the U.S., Chicago, and the Black Metropolis;
2) one reading from the National Register of Historic Places nomination form for Black Metropolis; and
3) three photos and two drawings of the Black Metropolis.
Visiting the Site
The Black Metropolis Convention and Tourism Council operates a Bronzeville Visitor Information Center that acts as the interpretive center for the Black Metropolis. The information center is located in the Supreme Life Building, at 3500 S. King Drive, on the southeast corner of the intersection with 35th Street. For more information, contact the the City of Chicago's Office of Tourism, or the Black Metropolis Convention and Tourism Council.