A Chicago garden calls a Black community pushed to the margins back together again.
By Zach Mortice
Since 2009, a vacant lot turned community garden on the 4600 block of Winthrop Avenue in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood has commemorated the Winthrop Avenue Family, the descendants of a group of Black families who for much of the 20th century were confined to this one block of the predominantly white neighborhood. “Everybody who lived on the block [was] not necessarily blood-related, but we were so close we felt like we were, and still do,” says Emilie Lockridge, whose mother was born there in 1925.
That the Sears Sunken Garden, completed in 1907 as part of the 40-acre Sears, Roebuck and Company campus that dominated Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood for decades, was originally shared by managers, executives, and warehouse stockers is something Reshorna Fitzpatrick, a pastor at North Lawndale’s Proceeding Word Church, hammers home when telling people about the garden.
The Eda U. Gerstacker Grove on the University of Michigan’s North Campus is the modern anti-quad. The North Campus is cloistered and suburban, separated from the main Central Campus by a mile-plus and the Huron River. Continue reading Northern Star→