Don't know if you can access it from outside the UK, but I heard this excellent radio documentary on Bronzeville, Chicago this morning.
Bronzeville is a city within a city. The once teeming heart of Chicago's Black Metropolis on the city's Southside has shaped the career of President Obama, made music to change the world and been on the frontline of the American dream.
For generations it has been the most densely populated part of the city. Divided by great highways from white neighbourhoods, latterly defined by its disastrous public housing developments or 'projects', it has birthed the words of Gwendolyn Brooks, Richard Wright and Lorraine Hansberry. The music of gospel, blues & jazz, not to mention the publishing phenomenon of Ebony Magazine.
Between 1900-1944 Chicago's black population grew from 30,000 to 340,000 constrained largely to the Southside with Bronzeville at its heart. The Great Migration saw successive waves of black Americans abandon the poverty and murderous racism of the South's small towns to head for what many saw as 'the Promised Land'. Work, freedom from fear and a shot at the American dream drew millions to the concrete and steel of Chicago and its steel mills, slaughter yards and railways. For a time, those who dwelt in the Black Metropolis had a community bound tight by pride and the knowledge that they stood on their own.
The Black Metropolis is also the title of the classic 1945 study of this world. As historian Adam Green consults its words as a guide to today's streets so activist, teacher and historian Timuel Black recalls his family's journey from the South to Bronzeville. Susan Cayton Woodson remembers the time Paul Robeson drove her to this vibrant city to begin an new life and the writer Sam Greenlee spins bittersweet tales of a world on the cusp of disintegration and painful change.
Producer: Mark Burman.