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Article posted: 2/4/2013 2:44 PM

Elgin library hosts Great Black Migration talk

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Submitted by Gail Borden Public Library

Gail Borden Public Library, 270 N. Grove Ave. in Elgin, will present "The Great Black Migration and Cultural Exports to Illinois" from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7. It is co-sponsored by the Elgin Branch of the American Association of University Women.


From 1910-1970, more than 3 million African-Americans migrated from the South to states in the North, Midwest, and West to find economic opportunity. This population shift, which helped fuel the civil rights movement, also served as a pathway for cultural exportation. Focusing on the link between New Orleans and Chicago, this program will explore how the musicians and folkways of Louisiana influenced modern Chicago.

Denese Neu is a social scientist specializing in community development, social policy, and cultural resources. In addition to her work as an analyst, she is an adjunct professor, speaker, and author. Her publications include entries in the "Encyclopedia of the Great Black Migration" and the book "Chicago by the Pint: a Craft Beer History of the Windy City." She earned her Ph.D. at the University of New Orleans before making her own migration to Chicago.

Book sales and signing will follow the program.

Registration is required; visit

Gail Borden Public Library also will be hosting the following Black History Month programs:

• "Reel Women for Real Women" will feature the movie, "Lilies of the Field" at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26. Co-sponsored by the Elgin Area Branch of the American Association of University Women, this 1963 film features Sidney Poitier, who won an Oscar for his performance as Homer Smith, a jovial handyman who comes across a group of foreign nuns in the Arizona desert.

• Join the screening of the 2012 war film "Red Tails" for Black History Month at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27. A crew of African-American pilots in the Tuskegee training program, having faced segregation while kept mostly on the ground during World War II, are called into duty under the guidance of Col. A.J. Bullard. It stars Terrence Howard and Cuba Gooding, Jr.

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