TUESDAY, JULY 6, 2021 


After more than a decade in the making, Chicago’s monument to civil rights activist Ida B. Wells is finally here. “The Light of Truth Ida B. Wells National Monument,” by renowned sculptor Richard Hunt, has three bronze columns supporting an intertwined shape at the top that resembles a flame.

Wells’ great-granddaughter Michelle Duster, her father, and two uncles (Wells’ grandsons) started pushing for a monument dedicated to the journalist and anti-lynching activist back in 2008, after learning that a Bronzeville public housing complex named for Wells would be torn down.

They joined a city committee that had already approached Hunt to create a monument at the site of the homes – 37th and Langley. Duster writes that the goal from the beginning was for the monument to be “commanding, abstract, and modern that would capture the multi-faceted aspect of Ida B. Wells.” The project faced significant funding hurdles, but Duster credits journalists like the New York Times’ Nikole Hannah-Jones for bringing more attention to the effort.

Wells recently has been honored in other ways nationally and in Chicago. The city renamed Congress Parkway to Ida B. Wells Drive in 2019, and Wells received a posthumous Pulitzer Prize in 2020.

But to Wells’ great-granddaughter, Duster, the monument in Bronzeville is a place where people can gather with others “to reflect on the life and work of my great-grandmother, but also to center themselves and realize the power they have within.” [Twitter; WBEZ]

👉 What you can do: Visit the Light of Truth Ida B. Wells National Monument.

⛅We’re starting the week hot! hot! hot! But mid-week we’ll start to cool off with highs in the 70s and 80s.

—Carrie Shepherd, @cshepherd (in for Sidney Madden, @sidney_madden_)



🇺🇸 President Biden is coming to town
Technically, Biden’s first presidential visit to Illinois is to northwest suburban Crystal Lake, where he will push his American Families Plan. Biden is making the pitch, which the White House says includes making college more affordable, at McHenry County College, a community college.
[Chicago Sun-Times]

💵 Amazon to open distribution center in West Humboldt
The retail giant will take over the old Allied Metals site. Ald. Emma Mitts says the distribution center is expected to open late next year and would bring about 500 jobs to the West Side. Although Humboldt Park residents are eager for the investment, one community group said it was disappointed that neighbors weren’t involved in the decision to bring the company to the area. Mitts’ office said there will be a community meeting soon. [Block Club Chicago]
👉 What you can do: Call 37th Ward Ald. Mitts’ office and share your thoughts on Amazon moving in

🚆 Metra increases service as commuters return to office

The commuter rail is expanding rush hour service on seven lines as more workers return to the office. The new schedules go into effect on Monday, July 12, and Metra says it will continue to monitor rider habits and adjust schedules accordingly. [Metra]


Actually, Chicago is Not the Murder Capital

11 mins 

If you tell people you’re from Chicago, there’s a good chance they’ll say, “Bang Bang” about the city’s notorious gun violence. Reporter Natalie Moore tells host Jacoby Cochran how that reputation started.

👉 What you can do: Read Natalie Moore's book, "The South Side."


+ TODAY: Art on theMART: ‘Year of Chicago Music’ Launch
The light and music installations on the Merchandise Mart will include an animated work on Chicago footwork and a celebration of Frida Kahlo. The show starts at 8 p.m. on the Riverwalk.

+THURSDAY: The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum Reopens
Until September, the Lincoln Park museum will be open on weekends in a limited capacity. The Museum has an FAQ about safety guidelines.

+THIS WEEKEND: Puff, Paint ‘n Sip
The title kinda explains it all, but we will say, the event has promised “some dope company” for the Saturday evening event.


Sidney before she was your favorite newsletter writer.

As you see in the "Top Story," your regular City Cast Chicago newsletter writer Sidney Madden is off today and tomorrow. And we want to use this moment to celebrate her birthday since her modesty would never allow this if she were in the office. Sid, a lifelong Chicagoan (and as Jacoby likes to remind her, a Whitney Young Dolphin 🐬) has a wicked sense of humor, a dedication to her craft, and a spirit that makes all feel welcome. Happy Birthday, Sid! 🎂

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