Forty Blocks: The East Garfield Park Oral History Project

Chicago History Museum in partnership with Breakthrough

In the fall of 2016, I took a class at the Chicago History Museum focused on public history and museum studies. For the final project, the class was divided into five groups, each with a different project. Although I was assigned a group that was creating an online tour, my heart was set on becoming a part of the oral history project in East Garfield Park. That winter, I accepted an internship at CHM and by summer it developed into a fellowship. Our project focused on recovering a post-1960s history in a neighborhood that is largely regarded for its violence. By partnering with a social services provider, Breakthrough, we were able to teach a new generation of historians and produce a short documentary.