Category Archives: Part VI Back to the Same Old Place

Bronzeville, Johnson’s “Sweet Home Chicago,” is in its third incarnation. The city within a city was leveled, sealed off and rebuilt as high rise projects. Bronzeville population plummeted as the projects were torn down and the Great Recession left foreclosed and abandoned properties in its wake. With new investment supporting community renewal, the questions remain who will populate Bronzeville and will it be absorbed into an expanding central city. “Sweet Home Chicago” is a cultural marker in Bronzeville. It is a reminder that a thriving arts and culture district was a core component of Black Metropolis life and can be central to Bronzeville revitalization.

Sweet Home Chicago: Part VI. Back to that Same Old Place

We will never know what images of Bronzeville inspired Robert Johnson to compose “Sweet Home Chicago.” The song emerged from Chicago Black Metropolis musical roots and spoke of the city as an aspirational destination. Newsreel footage celebrating Chicago in the … Continue reading

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