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Black History Month celebrates the rich cultural heritage, achievements, and diversity that are an integral part of our country, but often overlooked. The RTA is excited to share how you can use transit to celebrate Black History Month on a local level, by connecting our riders to Black-owned or Black-run businesses, events celebrating Black History Month, and Black heritage sites around the region.

Chicago History Museum
Head to the Chicago History Museum to see the exhibit Remembering Dr. King: 1929–1968, an insider’s look at his time in Chicago. This special exhibit is included in the general admission price and can be seen until July 4, 2022.
Where: Chicago History Museum, 1601 N Clark St., Chicago, IL 60614
How to get there: CTA Brown or Purple Lines (Sedgwick Stop) or multiple CTA Bus Lines
Learn more.

Museum of Science and Industry
See dynamic works from both professional and amateur African American artists from around the country at the Museum of Science and Industry’s exhibit, Black Creativity Juried Art Exhibition. Here until April 17, 2022, it is free with entry. On February 1-2, 7-9, 11, 13-14, and 16, all Illinois residents have free entry to the museum, but still need to pay $14 to see the exhibit.
Where: Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S. DuSable Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60637
How to get there: CTA Bus #2 – Hyde Park Express and #6 – Jackson Park Express or CTA Red Line or Green Line train to Garfield and transfer to an eastbound #55 Garfield bus. Metra Electric Line trains to and from downtown Chicago stop at the 55th/56th/57th Street station.
Learn more.

Historic Former Wabash YMCA tour with The Renaissance Collaborative
Visit the birthplace of Black History Month with a free tour of the Historic Former Wabash YMCA. Guided by The Renaissance Collaborative (TRC), you will be immersed in Chicago’s Black history that has left a national legacy. The tours will be held on the second Saturday of each month until December 2022.
Where: The Wabash YMCA, 3763 S Wabash Ave., Chicago, IL 60653
How to get there: CTA Green Line or multiple CTA bus lines or the Metra Rock Island Line
Learn more.

Joliet Junior College
Joliet Junior College is opening its doors to the community to celebrate Black History Month. In-person and virtual events include panel discussions, movie showings, an African Bazaar, and much more.
Where: Joliet Junior College, 1215 Houbolt Road, Joliet IL, 60431
How to get there: Metra Rock Island Line to Pace Bus #501
Learn more.

Waukegan Park District
The Waukegan Park District is hosting a variety of in-person and virtual programs, such as a Soul Food cooking demonstration, poetry slam, and children’s events, to highlight the contributions African Americans have made in their community and beyond.
Where: Near Bowen Park, 1800 N Sheridan Rd, Waukegan, IL 60085
How to get there: Metra UP-N Line, Pace Bus Lines #563 or #571
Learn more.

Black-owned bookstores

Across the region, we have access to fantastic Black-owned bookstores that not only sell books but educate the public about Black-centered literature and community development. Here is a small list of bookstores that are easily accessible by transit and worth the trip.

Afriware Books, Co.
Where: Eisenhower Tower, 1701 S 1st Avenue # 400, Maywood, IL 60153
How to get there: Pace Bus Lines #303, #310, #317, CTA Blue Line
Learn more.

Frontline Books
Where: 5206 S Harper Ave., Chicago, IL 60615
How to get there: Metra Electric Line, multiple CTA Train Lines and Bus Lines
Learn more.

Black-owned cafes

Coffee enthusiasts should venture to Oak Park and Forest Park for two cafes that will make for a perfect weekend coffee crawl. Easily accessible to each other by foot, Pace Bus or CTA Green Line, these shops are a chance to get custom coffee and a dose of culture.

Kribi Coffee Air Roasters
: 7324 Madison St., Forest Park, IL 60130
How to get there: Multiple Pace Bus Lines, CTA Blue or Green Line, Multiple CTA Bus Lines
Learn more.

Mulata Kitchen + Coffee
: 136 N Oak Park Ave., Oak Park, IL 60301
How to get there: Multiple Pace Bus Lines, CTA Blue or Green Line, Multiple CTA Bus Lines
Learn more.

How to get between Mulata and Kribi: CTA Green Line or Pace Bus Lines #309, #313, #318

Chicago’s Black Restaurant Week
Chicago’s Black Restaurant Week is back February 6-20 with two weeks full of delicious vendors from across the Chicagoland region. No matter if you are taking CTA, Metra, or Pace, you are in for a treat once you arrive. Find participating vendors, locations, and more here.

Celebrate Black history all year long

Supporting Black enterprises and events celebrating Black culture does not only need to happen during Black History Month, but all year-round.Check out the following resources to find more Black-owned and Black-run shops and services in our region, and for more events honoring Black History Month.

To find more Black-owned and Black-run businesses:

Remember to mask up on transit and bring your photo ID and vaccination card (photos are accepted) for entry to the locations we’ve highlighted, if required.

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