Happy is he who is gracious to the poor.
- Proverbs 14:21
By the early 1900s Grand Boulevard became a neighborhood of many middle- and working-class families. By 1920, the African American community constituted thirty-two percent of the population and increased dramatically with ninety-five percent of the population being African American by 1930. Unfortunately, Grand Boulevard experienced racial resistance and violence as a result, but nevertheless, the community thrived and by 1950, African Americans comprised ninety-nine percent of the community’s 114,557 residents.
Grand Boulevard also became known as the hub of “Bronzeville”, the African American community of Chicago’s South Side. The community thrived with black intellectuals, politicians, sports figures, artists, writers, and it became the heart of African American culture in Chicago. Unfortunately, the prosperity Grand Boulevard formally enjoyed does not describe this area any longer.
This neighborhood is now categorized as one of high unemployment rates, poverty, and physical decline. In the 1990s, two-thirds of the community population was living in poverty and Grand Boulevard held the highest population of public housing in America. Currently there are many organizations fighting to meet the needs of Grand Boulevard and its inhabitants.
information courtesy of Moody Publishers
"Chicago Neighborhood Prayer Guide" by Dr. John Fuder with Elizabeth Koenig