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The Robinsons' Park Forest home, about 1994

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The Robinsons' Park Forest home, about 1994
Yvonne and Leonard Robinson


This object appears in the following sections:

City and Suburb: Chicago and Park Forest, Illinois, 1950s
City and Suburb: Chicago and Park Forest, Illinois, 1950s — The Automobile Shapes the Suburbs

Yvonne and Leonard Robinson

Yvonne Robinson's house, Park Forest, Illinois
Currently on display
Not a part of the official Smithsonian Collection

Yvonne Robinson, an educator in a nearby suburb, moved to this house in Park Forest with her family in 1963. Only about a half-dozen black families lived in Park Forest at that time, and the Robinson children were the first to integrate their elementary school.

Physical Description
Photograph. Color photograph of the Robinson family home, Park Forest, Illinois.
Date Made:
about 1994
Dates Used:
1963 - 1994
Park Forest
Courtesy of Yvonne and Leonard Robinson

In the immediate post WWII period a combination of factors--prosperity, federal housing and mortgage policy, pent up demand for new housing, urban unrest, and a growing reliance on the private automobile-encouraged increasing numbers of middle-income whites to choose to move to newly built suburbs. Private builders, with government assistance, created sprawling new communities out of woods and corn fields.

White families weren't the only ones looking for good schools and decent housing. But, many areas of Chicago and the surrounding suburbs didn't welcome Black newcomers. Protests became an all too familiar scene when Black families moved into white neighborhoods and suburbs.

Related People, Places, and Events
Robinson, Yvonne and Leonard

Park Forest, Illinois

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