Let your light shine...that they may see your good works. - Matthew 5:16
In the early 1880s and 1890s, Douglas attracted many of the city’s leading Jewish families and many working-class families. By the 1890s, African Americans also starting moving into the area along the narrow strip called the “Black Belt”. In the 1920s, Douglas became the hub of African American business and cultural life.
This area, known as Bronzeville or the Black Metropolis, was alive with a diversification of professional and commercial interests, but took a major hit after the stock market crash of 1929. Most businesses closed due to the segregated housing market. The Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) developed the housing projects which were still not sufficient to house the 30,000 new African Americans that moved to the area during World War II.
Because options for moving out of the community were restricted, even more housing was constructed by CHA in the 1950s and 1960s. Since the 1980s, there has been considerable effort to restore the once vibrant culture and business with considerable success, as Douglas now boasts a strong middle class, green scenery and easy access to downtown venues.
information courtesy of Moody Publishers
"Chicago Neighborhood Prayer Guide" by Dr. John Fuder with Elizabeth Koenig