The South Side with Natalie Moore and Rick Perlstein

By Sophia Benzarti
Global Voices Metcalf Fellow

On March 31st,the Global Voices Author Lecture Series at International House will partner with the UChicago Urban Network, the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture, and the Seminary Co-op Bookstore to present “The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation.” WBEZ’s Natalie Moore will discuss her new book The South Side, which focuses on underserved communities in south Chicago. She will be joined by Rick Perlstein, author of Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan.

In her new book, Moore, a WBEZ reporter and South Side native, addresses a fundamental issue facing the city of Chicago: segregation on the South Side. While Chicago is well known for being a modern, metropolitan, global city, it also remains one of the most segregated cities in the country. Moore examines and criticizes the urban policies that exclude African Americans on the South Side from the social integration and economic success enjoyed by white Chicagoans elsewhere in the city. Moore sees segregation at work in Chicago Public Schools, housing initiatives, and other city policies.

Moore brings a well-informed perspective to this topic. She’s a native Chicagoan who grew up in Chatham and remains passionate about her community. As reported by the Chicago Tribune, she chose to pursue a career in journalism in part to highlight the “vibrant black communities” that local news outlets seemed to fail to capture. Covering these communities has proven to be a successful career path for Moore, who has received both the Studs Terkel Community Media Award and a Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. She aims to change perceptions about the South Side and spark consequential conversations about race through her writing and reporting.

The event’s other guest, New York Times best-selling author and journalist Rick Perlstein, has also had a successful career in journalism. An alumnus of the University of Chicago, Perlstein is an accomplished historian and critic of American conservatism. Pearlstein recently wrote a biting essay for the Baffler, “There Goes the Neighborhood,” critiquing the placement of the Obama library on the South Side of Chicago. He discusses the racial tensions behind the location decision, corrupt Chicago politics, and concerns about gentrification on the South Side. Both strong critics of the unjust city policies that promote segregation and harm African Americans communities, Perlstein and Moore will combine historical and modern issues with a look toward the future of the South Side.

This discussion is one of over 200 Global Voices events hosted every year, ranging from cultural performances to political debates, and fits in with International House’s larger goal of serving as a “Host of the World.” By allowing various voices from our local community and around the world to be heard, Global Voices encourages a richer discussion of political, cultural, and intellectual topics. This lecture will take place on March 31 at 6 p.m. in the Assembly Hall of International House, 1414 E. 59th St. This event is free and open to the public. Persons with disabilities who need assistance should contact the Office of Programs and External Relations in advance at (773)753-2274 or e-mail mdestefa@uchicago.edu.

*****

The Global Voices series is a partnership between the International House (I-House) at University of Chicago and the Hyde Park Herald to inform the community about special events hosted by I-House that are open to the public.