Chicago’s History Chronicled from DuSable to Obama

It is pledge season again for Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). This is not a pledge appeal but rather a reminder of some of the exceptional and provocative programming that is often seen on PBS stations around the country. This weekend there was a rebroadcast of filmmaker Barbara Allen’s DuSable to Obama: Chicago’s Black Metropolis, a documentary that chronicles the rich social and political history of Chi town from its founder Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable to the country’s first African American president Barack Obama. This programming is especially important considering recent attempts by Republicans to cut federal funding for public broadcasting.

There have been six African American United States senators in our history. Two were elected between 1870-1875, three were Republicans, one was a woman, three were from Chicago and one became president. Chicago has been the subject of recent political studies and research on its significant role in the development of national political leadership. I want to offer kudos to PBS for the insightfully riveting program that tackles the complex issue of race and politics in one American city from the diverse voices of those who helped to shape its history.

For history buffs and political scientists, the link to the 90-minute documentary is provided.