Bronzville

Black Chicago in Pictures
photograph 121

Chicago’s “Bronzeville” was a “city within a city,” the “second
largest Negro city in the world” in the 1940s, St. Clair Drake
and Horace Cayton wrote in Black Metropolis. The South Side,
seven miles long and one-and-a-half miles wide, stretched from
22nd to 63rd Streets between Wentworth and Cottage Grove,
its boundaries resolutely fixed by whites’ intimidation and
restrictive covenants. Supporting five hundred churches and
three hundred doctors, it was the “capital of black America” in
the 1940s, supplanting Harlem as the center of black culture
and nationalist sentiment, home to such notables as Joe Louis,
Mahalia Jackson, Congressman William Dawson, Defender
newspaper editor John Sengstacke, Ebony magazine publisher
John H. Johnson, and Nation of Islam leader Elijah
Muhammad. Its flourishing literary and artistic circles constituted
a “Chicago Renaissance” comparable to Harlem’s earlier
flowering. 1

Read the complete published article –  pdf Bronzeville

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