Bernard Turner is a Chicago native, born from Bronzeville with a career in teaching and educational publishing. He has been a volunteer as an interpreter at the Chicago History Museum since 2000 where he has fostered a deep knowledge of his neighborhood and its history as a professional tour guide. In his this time Turner has had a hand in publishing a myriad of books, all relating in one way or another to the rich history of Chicago.
When I had the chance to speak with Turner about his work, what was immediately apparent was his versatility as a writer and educator. On one hand Turner is an author of books such as, A View of Bronzeville, which is a fantastic historical resource for people to learn more about the Bronzeville neighborhood backed up with his years of accumulated knowledge and research. On the other hand there’s Tate and his Historic Dream, which is equally well researched but geared towards a younger audience, based on the painting The Time Has Come created by Darrell Spicy, a painting which depicts 28 great Black American figures in U.S. History.
Tate and His Historic Dream’s main goal is to take the history of accomplished, Black historical figures, both widely known and not, and teach Black children about them in an accessible way. It is Turner’s belief that Black people especially children must know more about our history in order to avoid familiar pitfalls and to spread the awareness to Black youths that their Black heritage contains power beyond the traditional narratives.
Turner believes in the mission of the Soulful Chicago Book Fair because he believes in the spread of knowledge not just in the Black community but specifically amongst Black Chicagoans.
If you want to learn more about Bernard Turner or his books make sure you come out to the 2017 Soulful Chicago Book Fair.