Suburban Promised Land: The Emerging Black Community in Oak Park, Illinois, 1880-1980

By Stan West, Peggy Tuck Sinko, Frank Lipo, and Yves Hughes Jr. 

For the past four decades, Oak Park, Illinois has received ever-increasing national attention and a deserved reputation as a progressive community, whose residents worked hard beginning in the 1960s to build a racially integrated village.  That real-life story has led some to believe that African Americans were latecomers to Oak Park.  

But a new book, Suburban Promised Land: The Emerging Black Community in Oak Park, Illinois, 1880–1980, sets the record straight and tells many of the rich stories of black and white residents who have built a community together and struggled with the often contentious issue of race in the United States. 

At its core, this story is about individuals, black and white, who fought for a counter-cultural vision of racial integration and cooperation instead of racial segregation and conflict.  

Published by The Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest and Soweto West Press, 2009.  Softcover, 168 pages, b/w illustrations, map, ISBN 0-9667926-2-9.  

List price:  $22.75

10% discount for Historical Society of Oak Park & River Forest members and orders of 10 or more copies (unit price $20.50).  Trade discount available for retail outlets; contact the Historical Society for information.  
 
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