Bronzeville, the historic African-American community on Chicago’s South Side, is where the stories of writers and musicians through the ages — including Richard Wright, Louis Armstrong, Lorraine Hansberry, Buddy Guy and Willie Dixon — have been told. Now residents hope it will be home to a Barack Obama presidential library, the Chicago Tribune reports.
“This area tells the story of Chess Records, gospel music, blues and jazz, electrified by Willie Dixon, Buddy Guy and Muddy Waters,” said Harold Lucas, president of the Black Metropolis Convention & Tourism Council in Bronzeville. “When people come to Chicago, that’s what they want to see. They want to see the birthplace of Mr. Obama’s political career.”
Though Obama has not commented publicly about his plans for a library, every president since Herbert Hoover has established an archive in his home state to house papers from his White House tenure. That means the race could come down to Chicago — the city Obama most recently called home — and Honolulu — the city where he was born.
If Chicago is selected, the next hurdle would be to determine where the facility would be built. An Obama library likely would not open before the end of the decade, but already it is a hot commodity because of the prestige and economic vitality it would bring to the community.
Bronzeville would have to join other potential bidders, including the University of Chicago, the University of Hawaii and developers of the old U.S. Steel South Works site on the Southeast Side, all with decidedly more political clout, financial resources and name recognition.
Read more at the Chicago Tribune.