Chicago South Side

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Short Story of…

The South Side Chicago Neighborhoods

The story of the South Side Chicago neighborhoods started as people from the historic black community of Bronzeville, also known as the Low Ends, began to relocate into the South Side as urban renewal destroyed many of their homes.

This forced many of them to move into other parts of the city, together with the “Great Migration” of southern African-Americans moving to Chicago increasing the black population.

South Side Chicago Neighborhoods: New City / Back of the Yards

New City or Back of the Yards was one of the first Mexican neighborhoods in the city, especially on the Chicago South Side, as many found work in the stockyards, given the name of the neighborhood “Back Of The Yards”

Unfortunately, the Stockyards eventually closed and the once neighborhood filled with different ethnic groups changed as the area became predominantly of Mexican descent, with African-Americans living between 51st and 55th (Garfield).

south side chicago nieghborhoods

With a mix of different racial groups, some of the first gangs in the area was an all-white gang known as the Gaylords and a Hispanic gang called the Renegade Saints.

As the years passed and the Chicago gangs becoming more of a business, together with white flight from the Chicago South Side, the Gaylords would later fade away from the neighborhood.

New City would later become known for areas like Damenville along Damen Avenue, Halo City, 48th Street, and the infamous Moe Town between 51st and 55th around Sherman Park.

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South Side Chicago Neighborhoods:  Englewood

Englewood was once a famous community with 63rd Street being the heart of the community, from Ashland to Halsted, with a small African-American presence.

As many white families were beginning to leave the area and the historic black community of Bronzeville in the Low Ends was becoming smaller in size, due to the construction of the highway and housing projects, many people were force to move into Englewood.

south side chicago neighborhoods

The black community would slowly expand from Halsted to Damen and from around 59th Street to around 71st Street, supposedly making the entire Englewood area predominantly African-American by the 1970s.

Some might say that redlining, the process of forcing a group of people into a certain area and denying them proper services to help the community, helped the decline of the Englewood neighborhood.

south side chicago neighborhoods

The streets of this Chicago South Side neighborhood dates back to the days of S. Green Street around Marquette and Halsted, the beginning of the Gangster Disciples that would later join one of Chicago’s biggest black gangs, the Black Disciples, and form the Black Gangster Disciples.

These two factions would eventually separate, which led to an on going rival between the two.

South Side Chicago Neighborhoods:  Auburn Gresham

As blacks and Latinos moved into the New City or Back of the Yards and Englewood neighborhoods, white families moved into Auburn Gresham.

With the black community growing, Auburn Gresham later became a large neighborhood with a majority African-American population, decades before the 2000s.

A community based around 79th Street, has been for generations a community of Black P. Stones and Gangster Disciples, with Disciples mostly around 79th and Black P Stones located mostly from 83rd to 87th streets.

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South Side Chicago Neighborhoods:  95th Street

The small stretch of 95th Street was once home to gang affiliations like the Cobra Stones, Disciples, Racketeers, and Imphs, with the most known area being Princeton Park, which has been well known since the 1960s.

As people were moving from southern states like Mississippi or Tennessee, one of the first areas that they were able to live in was around 95th and Halsted.

south side chicago neighborhoods

95th Street might not be as active as other neighborhoods in the city, but with blocks like Nateville and Rack City, this South Side community is similar in many ways.

South Side Chicago Neighborhoods: Roseland / 100s

Given the name the “Wild Hundreds”, the Roseland community started as a community that prohibited blacks from living or buying property in the neighborhood.

Even though there was a small black presence in some sections of the area, not until the late 1900s was the community becoming more of a predominantly black neighborhood.

Once a famous shopping district for the local resident, the community has changed over the years with the number of different affiliations throughout the area.

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Check out more of communities in Illinois from TheRealStreetz.com

*Note: All information is provided through people of the community, outside sources, and research.  Some information might not be current and/or 100% accurate.

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  • I’m a born and raised Englewood resident, and I was old enough to remember a time when we moved to a block and it was still white people living on that block in Englewood. One minute I’m playing with the white kids trying to make friends, next minute their family disappears to the suburbs, LOL! Eventually a lot of blacks moved to the South Suburbs of Cook County, including former project residents, so you just got this constant struggle of moving, redlining, and gentrification going on throughout Chicago’s history.

    • Crocodile over east

      Did you make friends with any other groups besides white?