Our Miss Brooks 100

Our Miss Brooks 100 logo

Perhaps no other poet has captured the essence of Chicago life more than Gwendolyn Brooks. She was the first African American to receive a Pulitzer Prize in any literary genre, and served as the Illinois Poet Laureate from 1968 to 2000. Through her work, she was an activist, a feminist and a courageous observer of Black life. In the centennial of her birth, she remains one of the most important voices to ever come out of our city.

To honor her legacy and her enduring contributions to Chicago, and to inspire a new generation, dozens of institutions, artists and educators joined to create programming for Our Miss Brooks: A Centennial Celebration. Through June 2018, OMB100 featured readings, performances, school programs, discussions, exhibits and more—most free and open to the public.

Local and national partners involved in this 18-month initiative included the Poetry Foundation, the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Chicago Humanities Festival, Chicago Ideas Week, Chicago Park District, the University of Chicago, DuSable Museum of African American History, Joffrey Ballet and the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn.