Pulitzer Prize-win­ning pho­tog­ra­ph­er John H. White was hired by the U.S. Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency to doc­u­ment the lives of the 1.2 mil­lion black res­i­dents of Chica­go from 1973 to 1974.

Accord­ing to Mash­able, White was metic­u­lous in his ven­ture to cap­ture every­day life, spend­ing almost 2 years on the project:

For two years, White explored the city, mak­ing inti­mate and pow­er­ful pic­tures of neigh­bors and strangers, cap­tur­ing Chicagoans in states of joy, sor­row, rev­er­ence and cel­e­bra­tion. He sup­ple­ment­ed his images with metic­u­lous­ly researched cap­tions that drew on sta­tis­tics to illu­mi­nate the eco­nom­ic land­scape of the “black busi­ness cap­i­tal of the Unit­ed States.”

White him­self laments this is a project indica­tive of cul­tur­al rep­re­sen­ta­tion:

Many black faces in this project… por­tray pride, love, beau­ty, hope, strug­gle, joy, hate, frus­tra­tion, dis­con­tent, wor­ship and faith. In short, por­traits of peo­ple who feel they are indi­vid­u­als and are proud of their her­itage.

Check out the beau­ti­ful images below.

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July 1973 A father and son at a wor­ship ser­vice at Wrigley Field dur­ing the Jehovah’s Wit­ness Annu­al Con­ven­tion.
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August 1973
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May 1973 A stu­dent at the West­ing­house Indus­tri­al Voca­tion School on the west side of Chica­go.
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June 1973 A bal­loon sales­man on 47th Street.
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August 1973 Beau­ty queens from around the city stand on a float dur­ing the Bud Bil­liken Day Parade.
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August 1973 Women ride along Dr. Mar­tin Luther King, Jr. Dri­ve in the Bud Bil­liken Day Parade
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May 1973 Chil­dren play out­side the Ida B. Wells Homes, one of Chicago’s old­est hous­ing projects.
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August 1973 A fam­i­ly enjoys the weath­er at 12th Street Beach on Lake Michi­gan.
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August 1973 A woman plays on 12th Street Beach on Lake Michi­gan.
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June 1973 Res­i­dents on the west side of Chica­go.
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June 1973 Chil­dren play on a bal­cony in the Robert Tay­lor Homes.
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June 1973 A fruit stand on the south side of Chica­go.
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June 1973 Chil­dren play in the water of a fire hydrant on the south side of Chica­go.
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August 1973 Chil­dren dance in an emp­ty lot on South Prince­ton Avenue.
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May 1973 Youths play bas­ket­ball at the State­way Gar­dens hous­ing project.
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May 1974 Men on the south side of Chica­go.
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June 1973 Res­i­dents of a hous­ing project on the west side of Chica­go.
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March 1974 A Mus­lim woman reacts while lis­ten­ing to Eli­jah Muham­mad deliv­er an address.
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May 1973 Work­ers play check­ers on East 35th Street before their shift.
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Octo­ber 1973 Chil­dren play in a play­ground at 40th Street and Drex­el Boule­vard.
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August 1973 Chil­dren in the Kadats of Amer­i­ca drill team per­form in a com­mu­ni­ty tal­ent show on the south side of Chica­go.
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Octo­ber 1973 Wor­ship­pers at Holy Angel Catholic Church on the south side of Chica­go.
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August 1973 A gui­tarist per­forms at the Lake Mead­ows Shop­ping Cen­ter.
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July 1973 An unem­ployed man sits on a win­dowsill in an eco­nom­i­cal­ly depressed area on the south side.
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June 1973 A moth­er and child on the south side of Chica­go.
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June 1973 A cou­ple and their dog in their south side apart­ment.
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August 1973 A cou­ple brings their daugh­ter to the Church of the Mes­si­ah to be bap­tized.
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June 1973 A child enjoys a snow cone on the west side of Chica­go.
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May 1973 A teenag­er at the Robert Tay­lor Homes on the south side of Chica­go.
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August 1973 A man naps out­doors on the south side.
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Octo­ber 1973 A stu­dent reads in a Black Stud­ies class in a school on the west side.
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August 1973 A teenag­er flex­es for the cam­era dur­ing a com­mu­ni­ty pro­gram on the south side of Chica­go.

Go to Mashable.com to see more. Ladies, what are your thoughts?

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7 Comments on "32 Beautiful Images of Black Life in 1970s Chicago"

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dwntomars

This was so beau­ti­ful. It gave me chills.

Milos Mom

I enjoyed that so much. Beau­ti­ful.

Gmaine Ford

Redlin­ing block bust­ing and the effects there­of wit­ness I’m this pho­to

Natalie White

I absolute­ly loved this!

Orihime11

This is giv­ing me all kinds of life!!

S. Williams

born and raised (until I was 12 but I still go back) so many mem­o­ries as I rec­og­nize many of the places in the pho­tos

BVAX

Beau­ti­ful!

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