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

3.18 | Sharing Chicago’s Stories Every Day

Following the 1968 assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., much of the city’s West and South Sides were destroyed by riots. When those riots ended, so did most of the recorded histories of these communities, including those of East Garfield Park. Local organizations and residents strive to rewrite the narrative about their community.

The Chicago History Museum and Breakthrough, a social service provider in the East Garfield Park neighborhood, have helped to capture their stories.

40 Blocks: East Garfield Park

Middle and high school students mentored by film and sound professionals conducted interviews to uncover experiences of long-time community residents, leaders, art activists, coaches, and others. They heard about contemporary issues—poverty, education, gentrification, racism, police brutality, community investment, drugs, family structure, and youth involvement and were able to historically root these problems and inquire about the future of the neighborhood.

This project aims to share the stories of East Garfield Park and to contribute to a deeper understanding of Chicago through the perspectives of a community often overlooked. Watch the documentary.


The Chicago History Museum, a major museum and research center for Chicago and American history, is located at 1601 N. Clark Street. The Museum has dedicated more than a century to celebrating and sharing Chicago stories through dynamic exhibitions, tours, publications, special events and programming. The Museum collects and preserves millions of artifacts, documents and images to help audiences connect to the city and its history. The Chicago History Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of the Chicago Park District on behalf of the people of Chicago. The Chicago History Museum is a 2016 winner of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the highest award given to these institutions for their community engagement and having an impact on the lives of individuals, families, and communities.

Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago's Stories