The Historical Realities of Slavery in Illinois


Illinois Newsroom

Most of Civil War history in the U.S. is taught in terms of North versus South — with clear borders and dividing lines. The southern states relied on enslaved people to drive their economy, while Northern states, like Illinois, did not. Or at least that has been the historical narrative in the Land of Lincoln and much of the Midwest.

Our guests on the show today shine a light on the historical realities of Illinois’ history with slavery that many did not learn about in social studies classes growing up. 


Darrel Dexter, High School Social Studies Teacher in Tamms, IL and author of “Bondage in Egypt, Slavery in Southern Illinois” 

Logan Jaffe, Engagement Reporter for ProPublica Illinois 

Christopher Lehman, Professor of Ethnic Studies at St. Cloud State University, Minnesota and author of “Slavery’s Reach: Southern Slaveholders in the North Star State.”  


Prepared for web by Zainab Qureshi

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