Past Event

'The Reason Why'

The Reason Why” A lecture and discussion on why African Americans were not included in the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 Featuring: Christopher Reed, Professor Emeritus, Roosevelt University Robert Rydell, Professor, Montana State University Dr. Temple Tsenes-Hills, PhD, Loyola University Chicago Moderator – Alaka Wali, Applied Cultural Research Director, The Field Museum

This event is part of a new exhibition at the UIC African American Cultural Center called “The Reason Why the Colored American is Not in the World’s Columbian Exposition.” The exhibition recognizes the 120th anniversary of the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 as an opportunity to relate historical accounts of AfricanAmericans’ experiences of the Fair to contemporary debates over large-scale public festivities in Chicago.

Ida B. Wells, the noted African American journalist, famously produced a pamphlet called “The Reason Why the Colored American is Not in the World’s Columbian Exposition,” expressing how African Americans in Chicago felt about their exclusion from the Fair and stereotypical portrayals of African Americans in the Fair itself.

Additional public programming related to “The Reason Why” exhibition will include historical reenactments at the Carter G. Woodson Library, a public reading with the great-granddaughter of Ida B. Wells at the Jane Addams Hull House Museum, a musical tribute at Quinn Chapel AME Church, and an interdisciplinary panel discussion at the DuSable Museum of African-American History.

For more information contact: African-American Cultural Center at UIC at 312-996-9549, via email at or online at