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Sidney Poitier as Walter Lee Younger in the original 1959 stage production of Lorraine Hansberry's 'A Raisin in the Sun.' Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Friedman-Abeles, New York

From the Archive: Sidney Poitier

The trailblazing actor and director Sidney Poitier, star of A Raisin in the SunThe Defiant Ones, and other films, has died at the age of 94. Listen to two interviews with him conducted decades apart by Studs Terkel.

Test Your Knowledge of This Year’s Local News with Our 2021 News Quiz

Did we all hope 2021 would be a calmer news year than 2020? Probably. Was it? Most definitely not. Test your knowledge of Chicago’s top news stories –– from the essential stories, to the bizarre ones –– with our year-in-review news quiz.
Film set for a silent western featuring Gilbert M. Anderson, known as Broncho Billy, at Essanay Film Studios in Chicago, Illinois, circa 1910. Image: Chicago History Museum; ICHi-016886

Geoffrey Baer's Favorite Uses of Chicago in Film

Chicago has become a major hub for film and television production in the past decade, but the city has been an important part of the film industry almost since the birth of movies. Here are some of Geoffrey Baer's favorite uses of Chicago in films.
"Pupils of this school" Carlisle Indian Training School, 1885. Image: Courtesy of Repository: National Archives and Records Administration

'Home from School' Tells One Story of Indian Boarding Schools in Order to Heal

The new documentary Home from School tells the story of the Northern Arapaho's efforts to repatriate the remains of three children who died at an assimilationist boarding school more than a century ago. “This film talks about closing those cycles [of generational trauma]," says an associate producer.
Cherokee Nation citizen James Greg Bilby as Sequoyah in 'Searching for Sequoyah.' Photo: Karl W. Schmidt

Searching for the "Enigmatic Hero" of the Cherokee Language, Sequoyah

A new documentary explores the legacy and mysterious life of Sequoyah, who created the Cherokee writing system despite being illiterate in any other language. The team behind the film discusses its importance to them as Native scholars and filmmakers. 
William Walker's "Wall of Daydreaming and Man's Inhumanity to Man" at the corner of 47th and Calumet in Chicago. Photo: Lee Bey

Tracing Muhammad Ali's Memory in Chicago - A Photo Essay

Muhammad Ali was born in Louisville and attained global fame, but Chicago played an important role in the boxing legend’s life. Discover some of the locations that marked Ali's remarkable life during his time in Chicago.
Muhammad Ali sitting in the back of a convertible waving to a crowd during the Bud Billiken Day Parade at 39th Street and Martin Luther King Drive, Chicago, Illinois on August 9, 1969. Photo: ST-40001287-0032, Chicago Sun-Times collection, Chicago History Museum

Chicago, Chicago, That Boxing Town

Three of the most famous world heavyweight champions—most famous athletes in general—have lived in and had some of their most formative experiences and bouts in Chicago, a city that has also always been a stepping stone for amateur boxers.
After a shocking loss of the Heavyweight title to Leon Spinks, with swollen eyes Muhammad Ali faces the press conference after the fight. Las Vegas, NV. February 15, 1978. Photo: Courtesy Michael Gaffney

Chicago's Significance to the "Greatest of All Time" - An Interview with Ali's Biographer Jonathan Eig

"Muhammad Ali lived here for some of the most important years of his career," says his biographer Jonathan Eig. "Chicago was really where he began to find a national stage and to realize that he could be special." Plus, he had his "racial awakening" here. 
Photo of US Olympic team sprinters (from left) Jesse Owens, Ralph Metcalfe and Frank Wykoff on the deck of the S.S. Manhattan before they sailed for Germany to compete in the 1936 Olympics. Photo: Public domain/Wikimedia Commons

The Olympic Athlete Who Became a Powerful Chicago Politician

Ralph Metcalfe was once known as the "world's fastest human" and raced alongside Jesse Owens at the controversial 1936 Berlin Olympics before becoming an influential Chicago politician who eventually bucked Richard J. Daley and the powerful Democratic machine.
The August 27, 1959 opening day ceremonies of the 1959 Pan-American Games in Soldier Field. Photo: Chicago History Museum

When Chicago Hosted Olympics-Style Games — And Why They Have Been Forgotten

Chicago celebrates its World's Fairs on the city flag, and the failed bid for the 2016 Olympics is well-remembered. Why have the 1959 Pan-American Games hosted by the city been forgotten?
John Gregg and Robert Allerton in Hamburg, 1932. Photo: Courtesy University of Illinois Archives

The Prominent Queer Couple Who Lived as Father and Son

Robert Allerton, once called the "richest bachelor in Chicago," lived with a man 26 years younger than him for the last four decades of his life before legally adopting him. His life with John Gregg reveals a sense of the early twentieth century and complicates ideas of couplehood.
Un(re)solved from Frontline

What Investigations of Cold Cases from the Civil Rights Era Can Offer

Under the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crimes Act, the federal government has investigated more than 150 race-related cold cases. A new podcast and multiplatform project from Frontline examines its success, and what truth and justice look like in decades-old cases. 
Muhammad Ali talks with the press after winning back the Heavyweight Championship for an unprecedented third time by beating Leon Spinks at the Super Dome in New Orleans, LA. September 15, 1978. Photo: Courtesy of Michael Gaffney

Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, and David McMahon Take on Muhammad Ali

Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, and David McMahon take on "the greatest of all time" in their upcoming four-part documentary, examining the three-time heavyweight champion who was also a lightning rod for controversy around activism, pacifism, religion, and race.
The Seventeenth Church of Christ, Scientist, in downtown Chicago

The Varied Lives and Architecture of Chicago's Christian Science Churches

You can find stately Christian Science churches tucked away in neighborhoods as well as downtown, although most now serve other purposes, whether re-developed as residential spaces or concert halls or as a worship space for another denomination.
Ida B. Wells

Ida B. Wells' Lessons for Today

The writer and producer of a new WTTW documentary about the groundbreaking civil rights activist, journalist, and suffragist discusses Wells' relevance today, at a moment when Wells is becoming more and more recognized for her work.
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