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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 is situated on ancestral homelands of the Potawatomi people, who cared for the land until forced out by non-Native settlers. Established in 1856, the Museum is now at 1601 N. Clark Street in Lincoln Park, its third location. As a major museum and research center for Chicago and U.S. history, the Chicago History Museum strives to be a destination for learning, inspiration and civic engagement. Through dynamic exhibitions, tours, publications, special events and programming, the Museum connects people to Chicago’s history and to each other. To share Chicago stories, the Museum collects and preserves millions of artifacts, documents, images and other items that are relevant to the city’s history. The Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of the Chicago Park District on behalf of the people of Chicago. 

Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago Stories