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Urban History Seminar

Virtual Urban History Seminar

Thursday, September 21

The Urban History Seminar series feature a scholarly presentation followed by lively discussion. Betsy Schlabach, Associate Professor of History at Lawrence University, presents “Tracking Black Women’s Informal Labor in Chicago’s Municipal and Carceral Archives: A Closer Look at Bronzeville’s Policy Game.”

Schlabach will share material from her recently published book Dream Books and Gamblers: Black Women’s Work in Chicago’s Policy Game (University of Illinois Press, 2022). Using court documents, arrest records, police reports, and warrants, this presentation will show that police surveillance was a constant in the lives of African American women policy workers. As a result, police practices violated Black women’s spaces, repeatedly evoking a pattern of disruption and economic instability. Despite this, many women described their work in policy as “the best job I ever had.”

The Zoom session will open at 6:45 p.m. with the program starting at 7:00 p.m. and concluding by 8:15 p.m. RSVP is required.  

This session is free of charge; we would greatly appreciate a donation to the Museum in any amount. A Zoom link will be provided after registration.  

The Urban History Seminars have been generously underwritten by the Chicago History Museum since 1983.

The Details



21 st

7:00–8:15 p.m.

Event Location


Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago Stories