The Syracuse Ghetto Story
The streets of the Syracuse ghetto reside in a city that is in the Upstate New York region, sitting between Albany and Rochester along Interstate 90, the New York Thruway.
Outside of the well-established University of Syracuse and its success in sport programs like basketball, little is known about this city of around 150,000 with the Syracuse black population accounting for a quarter of the total population.
While the Syracuse Latino population equals a total of 5% of the entire city in a small section of the West Side, the story of the city’s black community must be told alone.
The Syracuse black population has been in the city since the late 1800s with the city’s 15th Ward being the once primary destination for African-Americans in Syracuse.
The community would later become centered on Townsend Street with a number of businesses and establishments for African-Americans.
Starting in the 1950s and 1960s, urban renewal began to change the fate of Syracuse’s black community.
The claim of the Syracuse ghetto to be inhabitable led to the city to begin to rebuild certain communities, replacing many of the homes with housing project complexes.
Other construction included a number of public facilities and Interstate 81 were placed directly in the heart of the community, furthering the demolishing of the community.
By the 1960s and 1970s, the Syracuse black population expanded into other parts of the city, like the South Side or the East Side around E. Fayette Street.
While many would face a resistance and discrimination as the Syracuse black population was relocating into new neighborhoods, the community would eventually settle into most of Syracuse’s neighborhoods other than the North Side and a couple of other areas.
Years later, the population of Syracuse has declined as well as its communities, similar to many blue collar cities of the rust belt.
Today, Interstate 81 divides the black community, other than a small section on the East Side, from the rest of the city of Syracuse.
*Note: All information is provided through people of the community, outside sources, and research. Some information might not be current and/or 100% accurate.