historic focus

Evanston’s beaches: A history of segregation

Editor’s Note: This past beach season in Evanston saw a number of firsts: the first summer after allegations of rampant sexual harassment among lifeguards, the first summer Evanston residents could access beaches for free and the first summer with new leadership in the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. In this second installment of the two-part series on the lakefront (read part one read part one here),…

‘The Big Payback’ returns to theaters

The Big Payback, the documentary that captured Evanstonian Robin Rue Simmons’ efforts for reparative justice will come to the Chicago Film Festival this month.  The…

EVANSTON DIMENSIONS

Edwin B. Jourdain Jr.: Laying the foundations for Black political power and a citizen-equal future in Evanston, part 1

Young Edwin Bush Jourdain Jr. arrived in Chicago from New Bedford, Mass., in 1925. He brought a dream: to become a reporter for the Chicago Defender and join the fight for Black equality led by its crusading founder and editor, Robert Sengstacke Abbott. It was not a surprising goal. In 1905, Jourdain’s father, attorney Edwin Bush Jourdain Sr., had been invited to Niagara Falls by the rising hero of Black America, W.E.B.…

A portrait of Wong Aloy: A Chinese immigrant’s American journey

This article is part of Placemaking, a project to uncover, collect and share Asian, South Asian and Pacific Islander (ASPA) histories in Evanston. The project is co-sponsored by the Kitchen Table Stories Project and the Evanston History Center. (Click here to read about the genesis of this effort and here to start at the beginning of Wong’s story.) New York City Around 1899, Wong Aloy was living in New York City’s Chinatown. [1] The reason he moved to New York…

A portrait of Wong Aloy: A Chinese immigrant’s American journey

This article is part of Placemaking, a project to uncover, collect and share Asian, South Asian and Pacific Islander (ASPA) histories in Evanston. The project is co-sponsored by the Kitchen Table Stories Project and the Evanston History Center. (Click here to read about the genesis of this effort and click here to start at the beginning of Wong Aloy’s story.) Evanston/Chicago At some point during his time living in Evanston, Wong Aloy began…

A portrait of Wong Aloy: A Chinese immigrant’s American journey

This article is part of Placemaking, a project to uncover, collect and share Asian, South Asian and Pacific Islander (ASPA) histories in Evanston. Click here to read about the genesis of this effort. The project is co-sponsored by the Kitchen Table Stories Project and the Evanston History Center. Research is ongoing and more articles will follow. Please contact us if you would like to get involved with the project. Author’s note: Wong…

100 years of overlooked history: Uncovering Asian American stories in Evanston and the Midwest

When Melissa Raman Molitor, a 10-year Evanston resident, asked the Evanston History Center this year about Asian American historical archives, she was told that the center has no such records. “It gets started with this question in my mind: Who were the first Asians to come and live in Evanston?” she said. “I found out there was no way to find that information.” Provoked by the sharp uptick of anti-Asian incidents across…

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