The Chicago Black Social Culture Map (CBSCM) archive is designed by Honey Pot Performance (HPP) to reach a wide demographic, from the casually curious to academic experts. The archive documents the lived experiences of Black Chicagoans from the Great Migration through the rise of House music, giving this chronically under-documented constituency an opportunity to see their stories and histories represented as written record and archive. The act of creating and sharing the CBSCM archive not only serves to insert this important segment of American history into the official canon, but also engages those whom the archive represents, inviting them to actively help to build and shape this historical record, and increasing their agency from passive audience into participant and history-maker.

In addition to working directly with community members as primary sources for contributions to the archive, the CBSCM has partnered with local archives and organizations including the Blackivists, the Modern Dance Music Research and Archiving Foundation, the Center for Black Music Research, DuSable Museum, and Arts + Public Life at University of Chicago to research entry content for venues and sites. HPP purposefully approaches the process of archiving as a social, community driven practice, with the aim of fostering intersection and interaction between a wide range of institutions, grassroots efforts, and practitioners. In this way, we hope to additionally serve the archiving and historic preservation community by facilitating connections with communities they may not normally have direct access to.

Most public engagement around the archive takes place in community-based partner institutions and community centers on the South and West Sides of Chicago, both of which are home to majority Black and Brown communities.

The CBSCM archive encompasses the oral and material history of Chicago’s Black social culture across the 20th century from the Great Migration through the birth of house music. Since 2014, through open sessions, targeted interviews, and multi-faceted research, data has been compiled on over 350 venues in the Chicagoland area. Materials in the collection include digitally recorded oral histories, digitized audio from cassette tapes, two-dimensional paper flyers, posters, small hand-held “pluggers,” and printed photographs, as well as sartorial expressions of house music culture.


Project Director
Meida McNeal

Technical Director
Jo de Presser

Community Data & Research Manager

Community Data & Research Associate

Marketing & Communications Director
Abra Johnson

Social Media Coordinator
Jamila Johnson

Program & Exhibitions Team
Lori Branch, Lauren Lowery, Duane Powell, Darlene Jackson, Jo de Presser, Lynneah McCarrell, Jeneca Onikoyi, Abra Johnson, Meida McNeal, Larissa Johnson

Archiving Advisory Leads
Skyla Hearn & Lauren Lowery

Education & Curriculum Team
Abra Johnson, Jennifer Ligaya, Sea Michell Miller, Meida McNeal