A Century of Progress?
Issues of Race at the 1933 World's Fair


Articles about the racial politics surrounding the "Black Experience" as represented at the Fair. They are both by Christopher Robert Reed, and have similar information. The first one, published in the Illinois Historical Journal, gives a more sweeping overview of the experience; he includes information on various booths, including the infamous Old Plantation Show . The second article focuses on the controversy surrounding the Jean Baptiste Pointe De Saible exhibit.


Here are some links about Jean Baptiste Point de Saible. He was the founding father of Chicago. The interpretation and portrayal of his legacy was an important factor in the 1933 World's Fair in Chicago. Links


From the "Official Guidebook of the Fair, 1933"

The De Saible, or du Sable, Cabin
Near Old Fort Dearborn you can see a reproduction of the cabin of Chicago's first citizen, Jean Baptiste Point de Saible, who lived on teh north bank of the Chicago River, and traded in furs, even before the fort was built. He was a prosperous, educated negro of French extraction. The cabin gave way to what then was considered a mansion, and in it he collected Chicago's first art collection and library. It is thought he established his first cabin in 1777 and left in 1800, to go further south than Illinois.