Racial Segregation In Chicago

Good Essays
INTRODUCTION Chicago, a city recognized for its gleaming skyscrapers, modern enterprises, and Midwestern charm stands as an international landmark of diversity and modernity. As one of the largest cities in United States, Chicago serves as a model for the realities and consequences of city life. Racially diverse and culturally variant, Chicago is a melting pot of multiethnic communities and values. However, with diversity comes a collection of significant and imminent conflicts. The multiracial characteristic of Chicago residents creates unique racial and urban complications. Perhaps most observable, is the racial discrimination that taints the city’s housing industry. Although known for its gleaming beacons of industry, prosperity and hope,…show more content…
Already the home of many European settlers, Chicago became the home of African Americans who made their own journey north to escape both the legal and illegal forms of oppression that painted the American south. Chicago’s black population grew exponentially during the 1910s from 44,000 to over 109,000 as African Americans migrated north in search of freedom and opportunity (Roberts, 2017). This great influx of blacks were quickly shuttled into Chicago’s poorest areas and ghettos (Anderson, 2015). These areas became a hub of African American culture and character (Anderson, 2015). Separation between blacks and whites quickly became clear in metropolis cities like Chicago; and were easily defined by the distinct differences between the locations and conditions of housing. Early integration was contested and refused in many aspects as blacks fell victim to hatred and discrimination and were forced to reside in inner city slums while whites populated more affluent neighborhoods (Roberts, 2017). This immediate separation of blacks into areas on the south and west sides of the city created a distinct area known as the “Black Belt” and sparked racial segregation patterns that still persists today (Roberts,…show more content…
One such example is the creation and implementation of “Sundown Towns”. These areas are one of the most profound components of residential segregation. Towns such as these have been identified all across the nation, including in the metropolitan and suburban Chicago areas, and are notably characterized by their overt racist institutions (Krysan, 2009). Sundown Towns served to drive out people of color and create homogenous cities and communities of white people (Krysan, 2009). Sundown Towns, named after their common principle of prohibiting people of color to be seen after sunset, used a variety of tactics, including violence, threats, and laws, to exclude blacks and other minorities from cities (Krysan, 2009). Evidence from past censuses revealing first the existence and then the nonexistence of black residents prove the presence of Sundown Towns, which are believed to have comprised nearly 75% of all towns in Illinois (Krysan,
Get Access