“Black Chicago” may well be the most-studied (some say over-studied) African-American community in the United States. The fascinating blend of environmental and cultural-history methods in Landscapes of Hope shines new and exciting light on the so-called Black Belt, forcing us to look again at what we thought we knew so well. In this work, McCammack’s deft attention to the making and imagining of “natural” and landscaped environments on Chicago’s greater South Side brings exciting new approaches to both urban and environmental studies.

Instead of telling the expected story of black struggle with environmental injustice or simply collecting a series of African-American musings about “nature,” McCammack offers a literal landscaping of the modern Black experience. He includes all of the usual sites of examination in his study—southern farms, urban toil in slaughterhouses, racial conflict in Washington Park, and pleasurable release along Chicago’s famed leisure district “The Stroll.” But McCammack examines these...

You do not currently have access to this content.