Virtual Event | Candyman: Housing, Fear, & Reclaiming the Narrative


This year, we saw a reboot of the 1992 classic horror film Candyman, the story about a spirit of vengeance with a hook for a hand who appeared whenever his name was uttered five times in a mirror. Candyman was a first, born of racial violence, and he stalked Chicago’s Cabrini-Green Homes, leaving blood, fear, and questions about public housing, gentrification, and urban decay in his wake. The 2021 Candyman picks up where the original film left off, exploring these issues but from a more holistic perspective and a decidedly Black lens.


Join us as Dr. Stanford W. Carpenter moderates a series of panel discussions with scholars, artists, and housing experts. Topics include: the history of public housing in Chicago; contemporary advocacy for public housing residents; artistic and public education responses to the film’s content and the mythology of Candyman; and the reclamation of the Candyman narrative and the Black horror genre.


This event is free of charge; we would greatly appreciate a donation to the Museum in any amount.

Zoom link will be provided after registration; each session lasts about an hour. You may register for one, some, or all events.




12:00–1:00 p.m. – Public Housing Chicago: Activating Histories and Memory

Opening performance by PHENOM, former Cabrini-Green resident, poet, and emcee

Stacey Robinson, assistant professor of graphic design, School of Art & Design, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Willie J.R. Fleming, executive director of the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign and board president of the Chicago Owner’s Land Trust

Shaq McDonald, Cabrini-Green resident

Julius L. Jones, CHM assistant curator


1:30–2:30 p.m. – Candyman as Urban Myth and Artistic Inspiration

John Jennings, professor, Department of Media and Cultural Studies, University of California, Riverside

Sherwin Ovid, lecturer in art theory and practice, Northwestern University

Breanna Taylor, interdisciplinary artist with an emphasis on dance, film, content creating, and writing, and Langston League horror and curriculum consultant


3:00–4:00 p.m. – Black Horror in the First Voice: Black Stories by Black Storytellers

Kinitra Brooks, Audrey and John Leslie Endowed Chair in Literary Studies, Department of English, Michigan State University

Tananarive Due, author and continuing lecturer, Department of African American Studies, University of California, Los Angeles