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How to use transit to celebrate Black History Month in the Chicago region

January 26, 2023

22 RTA 1526

Black History Month celebrates the rich cultural heritage, achievements, and diversity that are an integral part of our country, but often overlooked. The RTA is excited to share how you can use transit to celebrate Black History Month on a local level, by connecting our riders to Black-owned or Black-run businesses, events celebrating Black History Month, and Black heritage sites around the region.

Events

Chicago History Museum

Join the Chicago History Museum on February 25 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. for their Black History Month Family Event. At this event you will learn about Black figures who have made incredible impacts on a local and national scale. This event is included with general admission.

Where: 1601 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60614

How to get there:

  • CTA Bus Route #22 (Clark & North stop), then walk 1 minute.
  • CTA Brown Line (Sedgwick stop), then walk 10 minutes (0.5 miles).
  • CTA Red Line (Clark/Division stop), then walk about 12 minutes (0.6 miles).

Learn more.

Also, check out the museum's online exhibitions:

Museum of Science and Industry

See dynamic works from both professional and amateur African American artists from around the country at the Museum of Science and Industry’s exhibit, Black Creativity Juried Art Exhibition. Here until April 23, it is free with entry.

Where: 5700 S. DuSable Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60637

How to get there:

  • CTA Bus Route #6 (S Hyde Park & 56th Street stop), then walk 4 minutes (0.2 miles).
  • CTA Green Line (Garfield stop), then transfer to CTA Bus Route #55 (Museum of Science and Industry stop).
  • Metra Electric Line (55th-56th-57th St. stop), then walk 7 minutes (0.4 miles).

Learn more.

Field Museum

Join the Field Museum throughout the month of February as they host several events highlighting the contributions African Americans have made and continue to make to science and museums. For some events, advanced registration is required.

Where: 1400 S. DuSable Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605

How to get there:

  • CTA Bus Route #146 (Soldier Field & Field Museum stop), then walk 3 minutes (0.1 mile).
  • CTA Orange, Red, or Green Line (Roosevelt stop), then transfer to CTA Bus Route #146 or walk 13 minutes (0.6 miles).
  • Metra Electric Line (Museum Campus/11th St. stop), then walk 8 minutes (0.4 miles).

Learn more.

Historic Former Wabash YMCA tour with The Renaissance Collaborative

Visit the birthplace of Black History Month with a free tour of the Historic Former Wabash YMCA. Guided by The Renaissance Collaborative (TRC), you will be immersed in Chicago’s Black history that has left a national legacy. The tours will be held on the second Saturday of each month all year long starting at 10:30 a.m.

Where: The Wabash YMCA, 3763 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago, IL 60653

How to get there:

  • CTA Bus Route #29 (State & 38th Street stop), then walk 3 minutes (0.1 mile).
  • CTA Green Line (35th-Bronzeville-IIT stop), then walk 11 minutes (0.5 miles).

Learn more.

Waukegan Park District

The Waukegan Park District is hosting a variety of programs and events, such as live performances, a soul food cooking demonstration, and more, to highlight the contributions African Americans have made in their community and beyond. Some events require registration.

Where: 1324 Golf Road, Waukegan, Illinois 60087

How to get there:

  • Metra UP-N (Waukegan station), then transfer to Pace Bus Route #564 (Golf Road & Butrick Street stop).

Learn more.

Chicago’s Black Restaurant Week

Chicago’s Black Restaurant Week is back for its eighth year on February 12-26 with two weeks full of delicious vendors from across the Chicagoland region. No matter if you are taking CTA, Metra, or Pace, you are in for a treat once you arrive. Find participating vendors, locations, and more here.

Black-owned bookstores

Across the region, we have access to fantastic Black-owned bookstores that not only sell books but educate the public about Black-centered literature and community development. Here is a small list of bookstores that are easily accessible by transit and worth the trip.

Afriware Books, Co.

Where: Eisenhower Tower, 1701 S. 1st Ave. #400, Maywood, IL 60153

How to get there:

  • CTA Blue Line (Forest Park stop), then transfer to Pace Route #303, #310, or #317 (Madison St. & 1st Ave. stop) and walk for 11 minutes (0.6 miles).
  • Metra UP-W Line (Maywood stop), then transfer to Pace Route #331 (5th/Harrison stop) and walk for 6 minutes (0.3 miles).

Learn more.

Semicolon Bookstore & Gallery

Where: 515 N. Halsted, Chicago, IL 60642

How to get there:

  • CTA Bus Route #56, #65, or #8 (Milwaukee & Grand/Halsted stop), then walk 1 minute.
  • CTA Blue Line (Grand stop), then walk 1 minute.

Learn more.

The Underground Bookstore

Where: 1727 E. 87th St., Chicago, IL 60617

How to get there:

  • CTA Bus Route #J14 (Jeffrey & 87th St. stop), then walk 6 minutes (0.3 miles).
  • CTA Red Line (87th stop), then transfer to CTA Bus Route #87 (87th Street & Cregier).
  • Metra South Shore Line (87th St. (Woodruff) station), then transfer to CTA Bus Route #87 (87th Street & Cregier).
  • Metra Electric Line (87th St. station), then transfer to CTA Bus Route #87 (87th Street & Cregier).

Learn more.

Black-owned cafes

Coffee enthusiasts should venture to Oak Park and Forest Park for two cafes that will make for a perfect weekend coffee crawl. Easily accessible to each other by foot, Pace Bus, or CTA Green Line, these shops are a chance to get custom coffee while supporting local Black-owned businesses. Make a day of it and take the Green Line all way through downtown to Bronzeville on the South Side of the city for one last cup.

Kribi Coffee Air Roasters

Where: 7324 Madison St., Forest Park, IL 60130.

How to get there:

  • CTA Blue line (Harlem stop), then walk 8 minutes (0.4 miles).
  • CTA Green line (Harlem/Lake stop), then transfer to CTA Bus Route #318 (Madison St. & Circle Ave stop).
  • Metra UP-W line (Oak Park stop), then transfer to Pace Bus Route #318 or walk for 19 minutes (0.9 miles).

They have also recently opened a location at 1033 South Blvd. in Oak Park, steps from the Harlem/Lake CTA Green Line and Oak Park Metra UP-W line stops.

Learn more.

Mulata Kitchen + Coffee

Where: 136 N Oak Park Ave., Oak Park, IL 60301

How to get there:

  • CTA Green Line (Oak Park stop), then walk 2 minutes (0.1 miles).
  • Metra UP-W line (Oak Park stop), then walk for 6 minutes (0.3 miles).

Learn more.

Sip & Savor

Where: 528 E 43rd St., Chicago, IL 60653

How to get there:

  • CTA Bus Route #3 (King Drive & 43rd Street stop), then walk 5 minutes (0.2 miles).
  • CTA Green line (43rd stop), then walk 6 minutes (0.3 miles).

They also have locations in Hyde Park, Forest Park, and a second location in Bronzeville. All are accessible via transit. Use Google Maps or your preferred navigation tool to explore them all.

Learn more.

Celebrate Black history all year long

Supporting Black enterprises and events celebrating Black culture does not only need to happen during Black History Month, but all year-round. Check out the following resources to find more Black-owned and Black-run shops and services in our region, and for more events honoring Black History Month.

To find more Black-owned and Black-run businesses:

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