A Dream Deferred: Bronzeville at the CrossroadsFrom the Black Metropolis project, DePaul University, modified by Bruce Mork
Langston Hughes’ “Harlem: A Dream Deferred” What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry uplike a raisin in the sunOr fester like a sore— And then run?Does it stink like rotten meat?Or crust and sugar over— Like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sagslike a heavy load. Or does it explode?
Sociology and Chicago • Richard Wright, Introduction to Black Metropolis (Drake and Horace Cayton, 1945) “Chicago is the known city; perhaps more is known about it, how it is run, how it kills, how it loves, steals, helps, gives, cheats and crushes than any other city in the world. Chicago is a new city; it grew to be bigger in one hundred years than did Paris in two thousand.” By 1945, the second largest African American city in the world and probably the most segregated—still true today.
Reasons Blacks Looked North: “The Promised Land” • The living conditions of blacks did not significantly improve after the Civil War. • Sharecropping led to debt peonage. • Lynching • Plessy vs. Ferguson Case – 1896 • Changes in southern agriculture
Physical Ghetto: The First Black Ghetto,1890-1945 • When the Black migrants began to come to Chicago in large numbers during World War I, there wasn’t a huge problem with segregation. As the Black population increased Whites began to close the housing market off to Blacks. These White reactions created a physical ghetto. • By the end of World War II, Black population approaching 10%; drastic overcrowding of ghetto, landlords subdividing buildings into kitchenettes. All social classes crammed together.
The Making of the Second Ghetto:1945-1960: Hirsch • Conflicts as Black residents tried to move into adjacent neighborhoods: white rioting. Blockbusting and violence. 2. Chicago Housing Authority a.Effort to locate public housing outside the ghetto. State legislature stopped that. b. Birth of high rise strategy c. Isolation of high rises in State Street corridor
Massive overcrowding created a need. Much of existing housing in poor repair Initially a mix by class and even to some extent race Community building efforts by residents See Venkatesh, An American Project Isolation increased by building of freeway Construction not high quality; little money for maintenance New federal regulations excluded middle class and eventually even working class Population heavily skewed to youth Gangs/violence/lack of police presence High Rise Public Housing: pro and con
Ida B. Wells “They had inspection, they was very thorough with inspection…They inspected everything…Ida B. Wells was a good place to live.” Doris Simon Ida B. Wells
Robert Taylor “I felt like I had an advantage…They were run really well…a lot of my cousins wanted to live where we were living. There was a large sense of community. In many cases it was like extended family.” Sequane Lawrence Former Resident, Robert Taylor Homes
Disinvestment and the Concentration of Public Housing in Bronzeville, 1960-1990 • Black middle class moved to the suburbs • Deterioration of public housing and of private housing stock; fires and abandonment • Rise of CONCENTRATED POVERTY • Decline in Housing Values • Loss of housing/rise in vacant lots • Depopulation and loss of businesses • Decline of school system
Density of Vacant Lots: 2000-2003Source: Black Metropolis Physical Quality of Life Database
Median Family Income In Bronzeville 1960-1990Source: U.S. Census Bureau • Decline of median family income 1970-1980. • The increase beginning in 1980 mostly the result of new residents… people taking a chance on gentrification
Poverty in Bronzeville: 1960-2000Source: U.S. Census Bureau • This graph shows the percentage of residents living below the federal poverty line. • Poverty in Bronzeville has increased significantly since 1960. • By 1990 it stood at nearly 52%. • The percent of people in Illinois living below the poverty line is 13.1%.
Trends in Public Housing in Chicago • Gautreaux decision • Hope VI in 1995 freed CHA from obligation to rebuild demolished units • Demolition of the high rises and replacement by mixed income housing that will accommodate far less poor people (Henry Horner Homes) • Section 8 subsidies • Landlord reluctance and rent ceilings
What is Reinvestment/Redevelopment? • Bronzeville Redevelopment Plan • To stimulate economic growth • Role of TIFS • Gentrification • Housing • Commercial • Historic Preservation
Density of New Construction 2000Source: Black Metropolis Physical Quality of Life Database
Density of New Construction 2002 Source: Black Metropolis Physical Quality of Life Database
Density of New Construction 2003 Source: Black Metropolis Physical Quality of Life Database
Bronzeville Population Projection: 2000-2010source: US Census Bureau
Bronzeville At the Crossroads • Who’s In? Who’s Out? Why? • Why does the majority of redevelopment in Bronzeville appear to not directly benefit the current population? • Has the Section 8 Voucher Program helped people to relocate? Where? What about Hope VI? • After redevelopment, what will be the percentage of housing development residents that return to Bronzeville?