Keating shares expertise Oct. 3 about Chicago neighborhood, civil rights history

Oct 02, 2013

In honor of the 40th anniversary of the Historic Pullman Annual House Tours in Chicago, Naper Settlement will host a lecture by Ann Durkin Keating, North Central College Dr. C. Frederick Toenniges Professor of History, and a bus tour to the town of Pullman.  

Keating’s lecture about the town of Pullman will be featured at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3, at Naper Settlement’s Pre-Emption House Tavern, 523 S. Webster St. The lecture can be combined with the Historic Pullman Bus Tour to Chicago’s far south side on Oct. 12. The bus tour takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, and leaves from Naper Settlement. Both events require tickets.

Noted author, speaker and historian, Keating will discuss the continued fascination about George Pullman and his neighborhood, built in 1880-1884 as a planned model industrial town for the Pullman’s Palace Car Company. At its peak, the town of Pullman housed some 12,000 people in a park-like setting, 12 miles south of downtown Chicago. Today, hundreds of Pullman houses continue to undergo privately funded renovations and restorations and contribute to the neighborhood revival.

“There are only a handful of places like this around the world,” Keating says. “It looks like no other neighborhood in Chicago, but it also lets us think about what industrial neighborhoods looked like 100 years ago.”

About George Pullman, Keating says, “he was larger than life. He came to Chicago to make his fortune and did. And he had a big idea—to make train travel a pleasure for the middle and upper class in America.”

Admission to Keating’s lecture is $10; reservations are recommended. The combined lecture and bus tour ticket is $65. Reserved tickets for the tour are $60 and include transportation by motor coach. To purchase tickets call 630-420-6010 or visit napersettlement.com.

In a different event, Keating was the featured historian in the release of a civil rights-related documentary titled “The Cross Is Still Burning.” The film was broadcast on ABC7 Chicago on Sept. 22 as part of “Sanctuary,” an in-depth documentary program produced by Greater Chicago Broadcast Ministries. 

The film follows the journey of a charred KKK cross burned 50 years ago when civil rights activists tried to desegregate churches in Jackson, Mississippi. Today, the charred cross stands as a sculpture in First United Methodist Church, Chicago Temple, inspiring people of faith who continue to march in solidarity for racial justice. Keating provided historical background, especially the common connections between Chicago and Jackson and their people and issues. Others featured in the documentary include Freedom Rider Thomas Armstrong who has spoken at North Central College, Rev. Phil Blackwell, Rev. Martin Deppe, Rev. Otis Moss III, Brenda Russell and Rev. Julian DeShazier.

Keating has been a member of North Central’s faculty since 1991. She received her B.A. from the University of Illinois and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.