Chance the Rapper has written the forward for a new poetry collection by Kevin Coval, titled A People’s History of Chicago. The title is inspired by Howard Zinn and the collection features 77 new works from poets, professors and organizers — one each for Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods. The blurb from the book’s publisher reads:
Chicago is the city of Gwendolyn Brooks and Chief Keef, Al Capone and Richard Wright, Lucy Parsons and Nelson Algren, Harold Washington and Studs Terkel. It is the city of Fred Hampton, House Music, and the Haymarket Martyrs. Writing in the tradition of Howard Zinn, Kevin Coval’s A People’s History of Chicago celebrates the history of this great American city from the perspective of those on the margins, whose stories often go untold. These seventy-seven poems (for the city’s seventy-seven neighborhoods) honor the everyday lives and enduring resistance of the city’s workers, poor people, and people of color, whose cultural and political revolutions continue to shape the social landscape.
The book will be available on April 11 via Haymarket.