African Americans in Chicago celebrate history and a new book, The Black Chicago Renaissance, on Oct. 3 at Roosevelt University

Roosevelt University’s St. Clair Drake Center for African and African American Studies will commemorate  the life and work of the late Roosevelt Professor St. Clair Drake, at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 3 with the launch of a new book, The Black Chicago Renaissance.

Drake, the author of the groundbreaking book, Black Metropolis, taught at Roosevelt from 1945-67, and was one of the nation’s leading black intellectuals during a period of Chicago history known as the Black Chicago Renaissance, in which African American culture, business and arts flourished in the city’s South Side neighborhoods..

Roosevelt University alumna Darlene Clark Hine, a professor of African American Studies and History at Northwestern University and editor of The Black Chicago Renaissance, will lead a short discussion on the new book, whose authors and contents have significant ties to Roosevelt University.

“St. Clair Drake was an important intellectual, political and cultural figure of the Black Chicago Renaissance and it’s no coincidence that he and four of the authors of the essays in the edited collection taught at Roosevelt,” said Erik Gellman, associate professor of history and associate director of Roosevelt’s St. Clair Drake Center and a contributor to The Black Chicago  Renaissance.

Other contributors to the new book include: Christopher Reed, a Roosevelt alumnus and professor emeritus of history at the University, and the late Murry DePillars, also a Roosevelt alumnus and former leader of Chicago’s black arts movement.

“We will be celebrating the life of a man who had a tremendous impact on our University and the way we conduct research on African-American issues,” said Al Bennett, the Harold Washington Professor of Public Policy and Professor Education at Roosevelt.

Signed copies of The Black Chicago Renaissance will be available for donations of $50 or more during the event, which is being held in the University’s 10th floor library, 430 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago.  Former Roosevelt students who knew Professor Drake also will be on hand to discuss their experiences. The event also will include a short discussion led by Bennett on the future vision for the Drake Center at Roosevelt University.  All proceeds from the sale of the book will benefit the Drake Center.

For more information, contact Andrea Adams at 312-341-2252 or