The 21st Show

Why are Black residents leaving Chicago?


Reginald Hardwick/Illinois Newsroom

Nearly 7 million Black people left the south between 1915 and the 1970s during the Great Migration. Hundreds of thousands came north to Chicago, fleeing violence, overt discrimination and poverty in the south. This influx of people made Chicago the city that it is today—shaped by the contributions of a thriving Black community to the city’s art, music, culture and economy. Now, many Black Chicagoans are leaving again, in the other direction. Systemic racism in the city, violence, and gentrification are just some of the reasons many Black Chicagoans are going to neighboring states like Indiana, or south to Texas, Georgia and Arizona. To talk more about the out-migration of Chicago’s black residents, we were joined by the CEO of an resident association, a professor of Urban Planning, a Chicago bakery owner and former professor, and a former Chicago resident who left the city a few years ago.


Asiaha Butler 

Asiaha Butler, President, Co-Founder and CEO of RAGE 

Stacey Sutton 

Associate Professor of Urban Planning at University of Illinois Chicago 

Chamille Weddington

Bakery Owner of Schweet Bakery, Former Professor at Columbia College 

Angela Wilbanks

Moved to San Antonio, TX in 2017



Prepared for web by Owen Henderson

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