Natalie Moore

Brookfield Public Library has announced that “The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation” by Natalie Y. Moore will be this year’s book for its Brookfield Reads! initiative, which will be accompanied by a host of special events related to the book and its subject.

“The South Side,” which examines race and class in Chicago, won the 2016 Chicago Review of Books’ non-fiction award. Moore, the South Side bureau reporter for WBEZ-FM, incorporated both her own experiences and interviews with residents in the book to, according to a press release from the library, “illustrate the impact of Chicago’s historic segregation and the ongoing policies that keep the system intact.”

Frank Murray, head of reference and electronic services for Brookfield Public Library, said that the staff chose the book as a result of past surveys, which indicated people wanted something that dealt with race and inequality.

“This book kept coming back up in our discussions,” said Murray a resident of the South Side himself. “For me, it was really thought provoking and eye opening in many ways. I’m hoping we’ll have some really good discussions about these things.”

She covered the Detroit City Council for the Detroit News and worked as a reporter for the St. Paul Pioneer Press and for the Associated Press before landing at WBEZ in 2007. She still lives on the South Side, in Hyde Park, with her husband and four children.

In addition to the award from the Chicago Review of Books, Moore received the Studs Terkel Community Media Award in 2010 and the Chicago Library Foundation’s 21st Century Award in 2017.

Moore is also co-author, with Lance Williams, of the 2011 book “The Almighty Black P Stone Nation: The Rise, Fall, and Resurgence of an American Gang.”

Copies of the book are available in print, audio and digital formats through the Brookfield Public Library, 3609 Grand Blvd.

The roughly month-and-a-half long initiative caps off with an author event on Sunday, June 2 at 3 p.m. at the Discovery Center at Brookfield Zoo, 3300 Golf Road in Brookfield.

Moore will discuss her book and topics related to segregation and inequality, followed by a question-and-answer session with the audience and a book signing. Advance registration is required at

Prior to the capstone event, the library will host book discussions of “The South Side” on May 18 at 11 a.m. at the library and on May 23 at 7 p.m. at Zubar and Grill, 8436 Brookfield Ave. 

Brookfield Reads! related events

Field Trip: Columbia College Folded Map Art Exhibit

May 10, noon

Explore photographer Tonika Johnson’s Folded Map exhibit at Columbia College’s Museum of Contemporary Photography, which illustrates what urban segregation looks like and how it impacts Chicago residents. Free transportation to the first 11 people who register. Admission to the museum is free.

There will also be a separate program on the Folded Map Project at the library on June 4 at 7 p.m.


The Great Migration and the Great War: Conflict Fuels Progress

May 20, 7 p.m.

Chicago historian Clarence Goodman shows how, as African Americans left the Jim Crow South for Chicago they confronted a series of complex problems that fueled tremendous social change.


Virtual Tour: Chicago Neighborhoods

May 30, 7 p.m.

Explore Chicago neighborhoods Little Village and Pilsen through the library’s virtual reality set.


You can find out more about Brookfield Reads! and register for its related events by calling 708-485-6917 or visiting