Durham, NC


The Short Durham Ghetto Story

Located in one of North Carolina’s most populated regions and a city with well over 240,000 people, the black community has 41% of the total population in Durham, in a community that has a poverty rate of 19%, which is mostly in the East and South Sides of the Durham ghetto.

durham ghetto

The story of Durham can not be told without mentioning the old Parrish Street area, which was nicknamed Black Wall Street for the amount of black-owned businesses in the area.

Parrish Street was located just north of the historic black community of Hayti, one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods and one of the Carolina’s most successful communities during the early 1900s, until the 1960s when most of the area was rebuilt and redeveloped.

The small city of Durham has a number of legendary areas, like the old Few Gardens projects and McDougald Terrace, which was the original housing projects that were only built for black families in the 1950s, right off of Alston Avenue.

durham ghetto

Location of Durham’s old housing projects

Other older areas were Walltown, the West End (Lyon Park area) and Hickstown on the West Side of the city, Brookstown, west of Hayti, and certain parts of the East End.

Blacks moved into different sections of the city due to the low cost, since no one outside of the community wanted to live in the specific areas.

Many people from rural areas of North Carolina, moved to the larger cities of the state to seek jobs opportunities. Today, some of these older communities are replaced by apartments, the highway, or other urban renewal projects.

Nowadays, the streets of the Durham ghetto are mostly Braggtown, East Durham, Carolwood, Bluefield, North Durham, Walltown, Hickstown, Old Farm, West Durham, South Durham, Strawberry Hill, British Woods, Mac, Carver Pond, Riverside, Woodrigde, Hillcrest, Set 9, Food Lion projects, and others, with some being no longer existing.


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