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'Chicago Exposed' Digs Into Sun-Times Photo Archive To Depict City's Rich History

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The images are in black and white, and in color. They capture decades of Chicago history. Some are joyous. Others sad. They're now all in one book.

Morning Insider Jim Williams tells us the book's editors dug deep into the Chicago Sun-Times photo archive to depict Chicago history captured by extraordinary photojournalists.

Bob Black was in his car when a bulletin came over the radio.

"My heart just jumped. I said 'oh, Lord,' and so I had to pull over to side of the curb to digest what I had just heard," he said.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had just been assassinated. Black, in his late 20s, himself grieving, went to a South Side church with his camera in hand.

"You didn't want to become intrusive. You didn't want people to notice you," he said.

Only one month into his job as a Chicago Sun-Times photographer he photographed one of the people mourning King's murder.

"It said to me this person was grieving from the depths of their soul. And that's the way I was feeling," Black said.

Bob Black's work is among the photos in the new book "Chicago Exposed," all from the Chicago Sun-Times photo archive.

From the euphoria of World War II's end to Mamie Till Bradley's agony when her the body of her murdered son, Emmett Till, arrived back in Chicago from Mississippi.

From the unrest outside the 1968 Democratic National Convention to the unrest after the killing of George Floyd.

Richard Cahan is the book's co editor, and for many years he was the picture editor at the Sun-Times.

"When you think back in your life, if you grew in Chicago, you think about these events, and you oftentimes associate them with visual pictures," he said.

We had the ideal location for our interviews: the Chicago History Museum.

In 2018, the Chicago History Museum acquired the Sun-Times photo archive. Five million images; a treasure trove of Chicago history. Some of these photos are in "Chicago Exposed," accompanied by essays; some penned by people in the photos, or historians, or those who took the pictures.

WILLIAMS: "This is what you wrote: 'The photo helped me cope. I grew up in this community and was connected to the church.'

BLACK: "Yes, yes."

"Chicago Exposed" is a visual chronicle of the city's history, and a tribute to the men and women whose work fills these pages.

"I loved it. I love it. It was my dream job," Black said.

Bob Black retired from the Sun-Times in 2006, but said he still takes photos. You can get "Chicago Exposed" online or at bookstores.

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