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We kick off the first installment of our Black Voices Book Club series with a new biography on a Black woman whose legend looms large in Chicago. And it’s written by Michelle Duster, her great-granddaughter. 

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The North Kenwood house Muddy Waters bought will be preserved as a museum, recording studio and more. (WTTW News)

A museum honoring the “father of modern Chicago blues” is headed to North Kenwood. Family members of the late musician Muddy Waters tell us what’s in store for the MOJO Museum.

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(CDC / Pixabay / WTTW News illustration by Rebecca Palmore)

From the pandemic to protests to the power of nature, 2020 has been a year for the history books. We take a look back at the year that was — warts and all.

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(Courtesy: Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago)

When it comes to designing buildings, form may follow function, but that doesn’t mean function has to be without form. Geoffrey Baer joins us with the story of the O’Brien Water Reclamation Plant and other ornamented utility buildings. 

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(docaz / Pixabay)

Renaming 17 miles of Lake Shore Drive for Jean Baptiste Point DuSable, Chicago’s first permanent non-Indigenous settler, would be a massive undertaking without precedent in the city’s history, city officials told aldermen Friday.

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Gerri Oliver appears in “Precious Memories” in 1987. (WTTW News)

The owner of Gerri’s Palm Tavern appeared in a few WTTW features over the years, including a 1987 special about 47th Street called “Precious Memories.” We revisit that conversation.

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Geoffrey Baer has the story of a famous wagon supply company once based in Chicago. 

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A mural in Pilsen photographed in August 2019. (WTTW News)

A rancorous debate that stretched for more than 18 months ended Tuesday with a unanimous vote of the City Council’s Zoning Committee to reject an effort to landmark more than 900 buildings and murals in Pilsen.

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(Chicago from the Air / WTTW)

Taking in the city’s expanse via drone, the special explores Chicago’s famous grid system, its industrial legacy, and the natural areas that weave through the dense urban jungle.

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(WTTW News)

Angles, curves, one ways and dead ends. Chicago’s street system has long been a source of pride for the city’s residents. Geoffrey Baer has more on the history and quirks of the city’s street system.

Blacks in Green buys home, plans to create international heritage pilgrim site

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The former home of Emmett Till and his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, at 6427 S. St. Lawrence Ave. in Chicago’s Woodlawn community. (WTTW News)

The former Woodlawn home of Emmett Till and his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, is now in the hands of the nonprofit Blacks in Green. Founder Naomi Davis shares the group’s vision for the historic site.

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A shoe store on the city’s South Side is celebrating 50 years as the only independent Black-owned shoe retailer in the country. We go for a visit.

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Filmmaker Steve James appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020. (WTTW News)

For more than a year, documentary filmmaker Steve James and his collaborators fanned out across Chicago at a pivotal moment. James tells us about the resulting five-part series that premieres this week on NatGeo and Hulu.

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(WTTW News)

A tucked-away street on the city's South Side is a time capsule from the days before the neighborhood was even part of Chicago. Geoffrey Baer explains.

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Lee Bey appears on “Black Voices” via Zoom on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020. (WTTW News)

Is the HBO horror series on your binge-watching list? Architecture critic and author Lee Bey unpacks the hidden history of the new show.

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Austin Town Hall (WTTW News)

Geoffrey Baer takes a look at the redesigned event in the latest Ask Geoffrey.