Gathered in this blog post are Chicago Black Genealogy Resources. African American genealogy research has entered a new era, so let’s take a look at genealogy resources to help your family history research.

Please note: This list is meant to include resources in addition to the ones found at the traditional genealogical sites like FamilySearch, Ancestry, Fold 3, and the like. And the lists are by no means exhaustive, so if you know of other digital collections on this topic for Chicago and Illinois that you’ve found useful in your research, please let me know. For links to other Chicago resources, click here.

Encyclopedia of Chicago

This great online resource contains topical articles on Black history in Chicago, including:

Chicago Genealogy Resources

African Americans in Chicago (Images of America series) by Lowell Thompson

African American Genealogy at the Newberry Library

Cyndi’s List African-American Resources

Hand in Hand: The History of Bronzeville’s Black Catholic Community

Pullman Porter National Historic Registry of the African-American Railroad Employees

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library
A preeminent research facility documenting “black life, and promoted the study and interpretation of the history and culture of peoples of African descent.” Search extensive Chicago holdings at link above.

Black Genealogy Communities

Chicago Genealogy: African-American Resources

Courtesy Afrigeneas.com

Afro-American Genealogical and Historical Society of Chicago
Podcasts, conferences, general meetings.

AfriGeneas is an online site devoted to African American genealogy, to researching African Ancestry in the Americas in particular and to genealogical research and resources in general. It is also an African Ancestry research community featuring the AfriGeneas mail list, the AfriGeneas message boards and daily and weekly genealogy chats. The word AfriGeneas is derived from African AmericanGenealogy Buddies. They also have a Facebook page you can join.

African-American genealogy blogs

BlackPast “10,000 page reference center is dedicated to providing information to the general public on African American history in the United States…. BlackPast.org also has full text primary documents and major speeches of black activists and leaders from the 18th Century to the present.”

Black Genealogy Resources at Facebook

Facebook: Black Chicago Genealogy

Black Reconstruction Genealogy at Facebook

Chicago Black History Collections

DuSable Museum of African American History

The Center for African-American History at Northwestern University

Chicago Public Library – Vivian G. Harsh Collection of Afro-American History and Literature
“The collection places a strong focus on African American history in Illinois.”

The History Makers
The HistoryMakers’ focus is to capture the stories of accomplished African Americans across all walks of life and to use video and new technologies to create an accessible digital collection to serve as a resource for students, teachers, scholars, documentary producers and the media.”

A. Philip Randolph/Pullman Porter Museum Gallery 
Chicago museum dedicated to the African-American labor movement and African-American Railroad Attendants.

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, one of The New York Public Library’s renowned research libraries, is a world-leading cultural institution devoted to the research, preservation, and exhibition of materials focused on African American, African Diaspora, and African experiences.

Chicago History Museum
Blog, teaching tools, exhibitions on black life in Chicago.

Chicago Black Genealogy Resources Newspapers

The first issue of the Chicago Defender published on May 6, 1905 and quickly became the most important black metropolitan newspaper in America.

Chicago Black Newspapers 

Chicago Public Library – Black Newspapers
Includes African American papers Afro-American (Baltimore/Washington), Chicago DefenderLos Angeles SentinelMichigan Chronicle (Detroit), and New York Amsterdam News (requires Chicago Public Library card for access)

Chicago Public Library – Illinois Newsstand
Papers include the African-American Chicago Defender, as well as Chicago Tribune (requires Chicago Public Library card for access)

Chronicling America: Chicago and Illinois Black Newspapers (Library of Congress; free)