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Lifting As They Climbed
Mapping a History of Trailblazing Black Women in Chicago

An essential guidebook to influential Black women from Chicago’s South and West Sides, and their social, cultural, and artistic contributions to movements both past and present. 

Geographically, historically, and politically, Lifting As They Climbed gives readers an in-depth understanding of the numerous Black women, from the nineteenth century to today, who empower(ed) their neighborhoods and communities. Structured as a self-guided walking tour, with crisp maps and accessible narratives, Lifting As They Climbed showcases seventy-five women—activists, artists, musicians, and more—through sites and landmarks on Chicago’s South and West Sides. 

Including Margaret Burroughs, Gwendolyn Brooks, Mahalia Jackson, and many others, this updated and extended edition is a testament to women whose stories have gone largely untold, and whose lives reveal powerful connections between their endeavors and present-day struggles for radical community-building and solidarity. With no “official” landmarks to preserve the history of their social justice efforts, this book is an intervention against their erasure.

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