First, A Thank-You

I would like to extend my gratitude to Dr. Rebecca Graff at Lake Forest College for her expertise on the Mecca and her generosity with her resources and time.

I would also like to express thanks to Teri Rueb for our conversation on her work that inspired the form of this project.

Further thanks to D.N. Rodowick and Solveig Nelson for sharing resources from Overlay (2015).

Last but certainly not least, many thank-you's to Shelby Lynn Bias for her performances of excerpts from Gwendolyn Brooks's In the Mecca. You can find Shelby on Instagram at @lilshelbylynn.


Altshuler, Joseph. “Historic Mecca Flats apartment building unearthed in Chicago.” The Architect’s Newspaper, July 20, 2018.

Attoh, Kafui. “What Kind of Right Is the Right to the City?” Progress in Human Geography 35, no. 5 (February 14, 2011): 669–685.

Bachin, Robin Faith. Building the South Side : Urban Space and Civic Culture in Chicago, 1890-1919. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004.

Bartholomew Ortega, Kirsten. “The Black Flaneuse: Gwendolyn Brooks’s “In the Mecca.” Journal of Modern Literature 30, no.4 (Summer 2007): 139-155.

Beaudry, Mary C. "Households beyond the House: On the Archaeology and Materiality of Historical Households." In Beyond the Walls: New Perspectives on the Archaeology of Historical Households, by Kevin R. Fogle, James A. Nyman, and Mary Carolyn Beaudry (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2015), 1-22.

Bluestone, Daniel. “Chicago’s Mecca Flat Blues.” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 57, no. 4 (December 1998): 382-403.

BrookdaleTV. “Visiting Writers Series Interview with Garnette Cadogan.” Uploaded April 24, 2017. YouTube video, 26:13.

Brooks, Gwendolyn. In the Mecca. New York: Harper & Row, 1968.

Browne, Simone. Dark Matters: on the Surveillance of Blackness. Durham: Duke University Press, 2016.

Cadogan, Garnette. “Walking While Black.” LitHub, July 8, 2016.

Crawford, Romi. “Yours in Blackness: Blocks, Corners, and Other Desire Settings.” NKA (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 34, no. 1 (2014): 80–89.

Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. “Mecca Flat Blues.” City of Chicago. Accessed December 6, 2020.

Hansell, William. “Gwendolyn Brooks’s “In the Mecca”: A Rebirth into Blackness.” Negro American Literature Forum 8, no. 2 (Summer 1974): 199-209.

Heathcott, Joseph. “Reading the Accidental Archive: Architecture, Ephemera, and Landscape as Evidence of an Urban Public Culture.” Winterthur Portfolio 41, no. 4 (Winter 2007): 239-268.

Foucault, Michel. ”Panopticonism.” In Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. New York: Random House, 1977.

IIT. “Building History.” Accessed December 6, 2020.

IIT Architecture Chicago. “MECCA FLAT REVEALED ROUND TABLE.” S.R. Crown Hall. Uploaded August 20, 2018. Vimeo, 1:07:52.

Kukrechtova, Daniela. “The Death and Life of a Chicago Edifice: Gwendolyn Brooks’s “In the Mecca.”” African American Review 42, no. 2-3 (Summer/Fall 2009): 457-472.

Lowney, John. “”A material collapse that is Construction”: History and Counter-Memory in Gwendolyn Brooks’s In the Mecca.” MELUS 23, no. 3 (Fall 1998): 3-20.

Martin, John Bartlow. "The Strangest Place in Chicago: Pictorial Comment by Ben Shahn." Harper's Magazine, Dec 01, 1950.

Rinner, Jeni. “From Bronzeville to the Mecca and After: Gwendolyn Brooks and the location of Black Identity.” MELUS 40, no. 4 (Winter 2015): 150-172.

Sanders, Topher, and Kate Rabinowitz. “Walking While Black.” ProPublica, November 16, 2017.

Shabazz, Rashad. Spatializing Blackness: Architectures of Confinement and Black Masculinity in Chicago. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2015.

Smith, Preston H. Racial Democracy and the Black Metropolis : Housing Policy in Postwar Chicago. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012.

Uricchio, William. “A ‘Proper Point of View’: The Panorama and Some of Its Early Media Iterations.” Early Popular Visual Culture 9, no. 3 (August 2011): 225–238.

WTTW Chicago. “Chicago Tonight full episode August 7, 2018.” Streamed live on August 7, 2018. YouTube video, 57:12.