Located in central Illinois and about 2 hours away from both Chicago and St. Louis, the story of Peoria Illinois is more than just the birthplace of the great Richard Pryor or the home of Bradley University.
The small city of Peoria Illinois is divided into four sides, the South Side, West Bluff, East Bluff, and the North End as the streets of Peoria from Wisconsin Avenue to S. Griswold Street is no different than any other city.
The South Side is the largest side and is the first community where African-Americans resided at with the original black community sitting between S. MacArthur Hwy and N. William Kumpf Blvd.
Today, the city’s original black community of Peoria has been replaced by apartment complexes and commercial properties.
As more and more African-Americans moved from southern states into central Illinois, the black community grew into areas like the Taft Homes of the North End and later into the East Bluff community by the 1970s and 80s.
During the 2000s, in the area of Sheridan Road and McClure Avenue, the West Bluff community started to become a predominantly black neighborhood in Peoria, while the East Bluff community went from a middle class neighborhood to a mixture of low income and working class families.
Today, the black community makes up about a quarter of Peoria’s total population.
As stated above, the urban communities of the small city of Peoria are no different from the urban neighborhoods in the larger cities of America.
*Note: All information is provided through people of the community, outside sources, and research. Some information might not be current and/or 100% accurate.