Far Southwest Side
. . . always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all. - Philippians 1:4
Auburn Gresham was annexed to Chicago in 1889 comprising German and Dutch settlers. Later, Irish settlers moved to the area and grew to 21 percent of the population. Near the end of the 1950s, African Americans began leaving the overcrowded corridor on Chicago’s South Side referred to as the “Black Belt” and moved into the neighborhoods surrounding Auburn Gresham.
To address the developing racial tensions, churches and civic organizations formed the Organization of Southwest Communities (OSC) in 1959. Their goal was to implement stable racial integration by maintaining property values, eliminating racist stereotypes, and preventing violence. However, in the 1960s, crime grew at a fast pace. Simultaneously, the population of Auburn Gresham increased dramatically. With national and citywide movements and riots, many white residents left the region.
By 1970, Auburn Gresham was settled by a 69 percent African American population. While the OSC was unsuccessful in maintaining integration, the transition from a majority white to a majority black population was more peaceful than might have been otherwise.
information courtesy of Moody Publishers
"Chicago Neighborhood Prayer Guide" by Dr. John Fuder with Elizabeth Koenig