City StoriesNew York

Staten Island, NY

Staten Island Ghetto Story

Most of the real community of the Staten Island neighborhoods are north of Interstate 278, with exception to a few areas.

Made famous through the legendary Hip-Hop group of the Wu-Tang Clan, Staten Island has a very small urban community outside of the white population.

staten island neighborhood staten island ghetto  staten island history

New Brighton of Staten Island. Courtesy Tommy Miles/

The Other Staten Island History

Staten Island history is based around the fact that the island was once known as a summer vacation resort, home to fishing companies, shipbuilding and anything that has to do with the waterfront.

The Staten Island neighborhoods grew between the 1940s and 1960s, due to the building of expressways and bridges.

For African-Americans, their population has been around for the longest in Staten Island. One of the country’s oldest communities, that was founded by freed slaves, is Sandy Ground.

Located in the southwest part of Staten Island, Sandy Ground has been around since the early 1800s with a couple hundred of people living in the area by the early 1900s.

Most people began to leave Sandy Ground by the 1920s, with most moving to other parts of Staten Island.


Today’s Staten Island

During the 1970s, African-Americans from other boroughs of New York City began to come and live in the Staten Island neighborhoods.

Many of the Staten Island neighborhoods were originally home to old Jewish communities, like Port Richmond or New Brighton.

staten island neighborhood  staten island ghetto  staten island history

The Park Hill housing projects. Courtesy RainRannu/

The streets of the Staten Island ghetto, as stated above, are mostly north of the expressway with exception to apartment complexes like the Barry Houses of Richmond Road.

Most of the people live in Staten Island neighborhoods of Mariners Harbor and the Arlington apartments, Stapleton, Park Hill, Port Richmond, West Brighton and the Slaughter Houses projects, and the Jersey Street area of New Brighton and St. George with the Richmond Terrace and Cassidy-Lafayette projects.


Check out more of Staten Island and other communities of New York.

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

Staten Island History Source: Lee, Donna . “On Visionary Soil, the Dream Turns Real”. New York Times. 7 November 2008
Staten Island History Source: Sachs, Charles. “Staten Island”. The Encyclopedia of New York City. Yale University Press. 2010. pg 1231 – 1237.