Masks required in Abakanowicz Research Center; optional for rest of Museum MORE

Virtual Event

Virtual Event | Candyman: Housing, Fear, & Reclaiming the Narrative

Saturday, September 25

This year, we saw a reboot of the 1992 classic horror film Candyman, the story about a spirit of vengeance with a hook for a hand who appeared whenever his name was uttered five times in a mirror. Candyman was a first, born of racial violence, and he stalked Chicago’s Cabrini-Green Homes, leaving blood, fear, and questions about public housing, gentrification, and urban decay in his wake. The new 2021 Candyman picks up where the original film left off, exploring these issues but from a more holistic perspective and a decidedly Black lens.

Join us as Dr. Stanford W. Carpenter moderates a series of panel discussions with scholars, artists, and housing experts. Topics include: the history of public housing in Chicago; contemporary advocacy for public housing residents; artistic and public education responses to the film’s content and the mythology of Candyman; and the reclamation of the Candyman narrative and the Black horror genre.

The event includes Tara BettsShawn TaylorDamian Duffy, and special guest Tony Todd.

This event is free of charge; we would greatly appreciate a donation to the Museum in any amount. Zoom links will be provided after registration; each session lasts about an hour. You may register for one, some, or all events.



Stanford W. Carpenter, PhD, is a cultural anthropologist, comic scholar, comic creator, and former archaeologist. Dr. Carpenter is co-creator of the forthcoming podcast Brother-Story and the Correspondent, an ethnographic and journalistic take on comics, culture, and the lives of the people who create and consume them. He is on the advisory boards of Abrams ComicArts’ Megascope Imprint, the Black & Brown Comix Arts Festival, and the Pocket Con Team.

Banner image by Stanford W. Carpenter



12:00–1:00 p.m. – Public Housing Chicago: Activating Histories and Memory

RSVP for 12 p.m. Talk Only

emcee, poet, and former Cabrini resident Phenom.Opening performance by PHENOM, former Cabrini-Green resident, poet, and emcee



  • Willie J. R. Fleming, executive director of the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign and board president of the Chicago Owner’s Land Trust 
  • Julius L. Jones, CHM assistant curator
  • Stacey Robinson, assistant professor of graphic design, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 
  • Raymond “Shaq” McDonald, Cabrini-Green resident 


1:30–2:30 p.m. – Candyman as Urban Myth and Artistic Inspiration

RSVP for 1:30 Talk Only
  • John Jennings, professor of media and cultural studies, University of California, Riverside 
  • Sherwin Ovid, lecturer in art, theory, practice, Northwestern University 
  • Breanna Taylor, interdisciplinary artist with an emphasis on dance, film, content creating, and writing, and Langston League horror and curriculum consultant


3:00–4:00 p.m. – Black Horror in the First Voice: Black Stories by Black Storytellers

RSVP for 3:00 Talk Only
  • Kinitra Brooks, Audrey and John Leslie Endowed Chair in Literary Studies, Department of English, Michigan State University 
  • Lauren Chapple-Love, licensed counseling psychologist
  • Tananarive Due, author and continuing lecturer in African American studies, University of California, Los Angeles 


Additional Resources

Out of the Archives | “Candyman was a Candyman: People of Cabrini-Green”

CHM partnered with the National Public Housing Museum to co-curate an episode in their Out of the Archives series. Inspired by the release of the new Candyman film, “Candyman was a Candyman: People of Cabrini-Green” shares a wide array of experiences from current and former Cabrini-Green residents, as well as insight on who the infamous Candyman really was.

Learn More & Listen


The Official Companion Guide: An Exploration of Themes

To help audiences to go deeper into the themes of Candyman, Monkeypaw Productions and Universal Pictures collaborated with Langston League, an educational curriculum firm that specializes in culturally responsive instruction materials, to create The Official Companion Guide: An Exploration of Themes. With special insight from educators Professor Tananarive Due and Professor John Jennings, this tool helps fans explore the legend of Candyman and Black culture.

View & Download
Image by Damian Duffy
Image by John Jennings
Image by John Jennings
Image by Stacey Robinson
Scenes around Cabrini-Green Homes a year after Mayor Jane Byrne moved in and out, Chicago, March 23, 1982. ST-30002648-0069, Chicago Sun-Times collection, CHM
Protesters at Cabrini-Green demolition site, Chicago, Nov. 6, 1995. ST-11002448-0005, Chicago Sun-Times collection, CHM
Demolition of second Cabrini-Green building on N. Cleveland Ave., Chicago, Oct. 30, 1995. ST-11002435-0002, Chicago Sun-Times collection, CHM

The Details



25 th

12:00–4:00 p.m.

Event Location

Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago Stories