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Sun, Oct 09


Stony Island Arts Bank

Mellon Archives Innovation Program #2: The Johnson Publishing Library

Join us for our second Mellon Archives Innovation Program at the Stony Island Arts Bank, an exploration of the Johnson Publishing Library.

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Mellon Archives Innovation Program #2: The Johnson Publishing Library
Mellon Archives Innovation Program #2: The Johnson Publishing Library

Time & Location

Oct 09, 2022, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM CDT

Stony Island Arts Bank, 6760 S Stony Is Ave, Chicago, IL 60649, USA

About the event

Join us for our second Mellon Archives Innovation program on Sunday, October 9, as we discuss the social history and impact of Black Metropolis: A Study of Negro Life in a Northern City by St. Clair Drake and Horace R. Cayton and connect the book to its inclusion in and the legacy of the Johnson Publishing Library.

Published in 1945, Black Metropolis remains a foundational landmark study on Black life from the 1840s-1930s. St. Clair Drake and Horce R. Cayton’s research on race and urban life is bolstered by fieldwork conducted under the Work Progress Administration. Sociologists Drake and Cayton document and engrain in our social history Black migration, political and economic disenfranchisement, and race relations on the South Side of Chicago in this storied book.

It is no surprise, then, that Black Metropolis is a premiere object in the Johnson Publishing Library. Indeed, Horace Cayton autographed the first edition copy, a personal gesture that speaks to the book’s significance to both John H. Johnson and the Johnson Publishing Company.


In August 2022, Rebuild Foundation launched the Mellon Archives Innovation Program—a multifaceted initiative supporting the creation of new research, scholarship, and artistic production through engagement with Rebuild Foundation’s archival collections at the Stony Island Arts Bank.

Over the course of the next two years, Rebuild Foundation will fund and support the creation of new work inspired by our four permanent archives. The four inaugural fellows are singer, songwriter, and musician Corrine Bailey Rae, interdisciplinary performing artist Yaw Agyeman; professor and performance studies scholar Dr. Honey Crawford; and composer and cornetist Ben LaMar Gay.

The Mellon Archives Innovation Program also makes space for the public to engage with the ongoing research and exploration taking place in the archives. Collection tours and a speaker series will invite fellows and researchers to showcase and discuss select objects from the collections at the Arts Bank. Learn more about the initiative, programs, and fellows at

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