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LaBrandon Dates


"Black Women Emerging" Catches My Eye in Chicago's Bronzeville Neighborhood


During my time in Chicago, I kept passing a colorful Bronzeville mural on S Cottage Grove Ave & E 41st St.

The mural is called “Black Women Emerging,” and was created by Justine Presha' DeVan in 1977. 40+ years later, BWE remains relevant considering the #blackgirlmagic movement. During my research, a source noted that many female community members, young and old, helped prime and paint the mural.

DeVan has a low online profile. I was unable to discover photos of the artist, but she has remained an advocate for the arts serving on the National Conference of Artists (NCA) board.

About Bronzeville, Chicago Sun-Times writes, “Located along Lake Michigan about 4 miles from downtown Chicago, this neighborhood began as home to many of the millions who fled the South during the Great Migration of the early 1900s. Through its sometimes difficult history, Bronzeville has remained home to a vibrant cultural scene often called the “Chicago Black Renaissance.”