Celebrate Black History Month in Illinois


African American history has deep roots all throughout Illinois. From the state's powerful history to today's trendsetting makers, African American culture and lineage can be traced wherever you visit in Illinois. Discover local artisans to support, events to attend, and even a road trip to learn more about the African American history, art and cuisine that continues to inspire year round.

  • Discover Illinois with Dilla

Telling the Story of Illinois

Through the power of storytelling, urban historian Shermann 'Dilla' Thomas is partnering with Enjoy Illinois to share Illinois’ rich African-American neighborhoods, historical attractions and destinations throughout the state with potential Illinois travelers.

More "Discover Illinois with Dilla" videos are coming soon, so make sure to check back. You can also book a Chicago neighborhood tour with Dilla to expand your perspective about rarely spotlighted parts of the city.

If you take Dilla's advice and visit Alton, there’s no shortage of historical attractions—stop by the famous Lincoln Douglas Debate Square, check out the Alton Museum of History and Art, book an Underground Railroad Shuttle Tour to discover key sites along the legendary network, or visit the statues of Miles Davis (born in Alton) and Robert Wadlow (the world’s tallest man). 

Adventure seekers can head to nearby Grafton for a heart-racing zipline experience, complete with stunning views of the surrounding landscape. While you’re there, take a wooded hike through Pere Marquette State Park and enjoy a glass of locally made wine at Aerie’s Resort & Winery. For a thrill unlike any other, take a ride on the resort's new Alpine Coaster

Want to make it a road trip? Check out our itinerary suggestions below.

More Ways to Celebrate Black History Month

Meet talented Illinois Made Makers and discover events, activities and trip ideas throughout the state.

Told through the lens of the historic rooms in the Old State Capitol, this video showcases important stories of freedom that transpired in Illinois, transporting you back to some of the tremendously impactful events that shaped the world we live in today. 

Illinois Made: Black Makers Spotlight

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    Triple Dipple's

    Harreld Webster, Jr. crafts desserts that go beyond satisfying a simple sweet tooth, mixing up everyday favorites and one-of-a-kind creations.

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    Endiro Coffee

    Not only does this coffee shop brew delicious coffee the right way, it leverages partnerships to fight child vulnerability worldwide.

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    For Chicago Chef Erick Williams, deliciousness is a virtue — and exceptional Southern cuisine and hospitality are at its core.