notes to introduction
of Racial Destiny after Reconstruction (Chapel Hill: University of North Caro-
lina Press, 2004).
6 Joe William Trotter, “Blacks in the Urban North: The “Underclass Question
in Historical Perspective,” in The Underclass Debate: Views from History, ed.
Michael B. Katz (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1993), 68. By 1920,
1.5 million African Americans became official city dwellers, with large con-
centrations in the Black Belt in Chicago (182,274 people) and New York City
(198,483). See Campbell Gibson and Kay Jung, Historical Census Statistics on
Population Totals by Race, 1790 to 1990, and by Hispanic Origin, 1970 to 1990, for
the United States, Regions, Divisions, and States (Washington, DC: US Cen-
sus Bureau, 2006). By 1920, 83 percent of all African American Chicagoans
were born outside Illinois, with 65 percent of that group hailing from southern
states. See Allan H. Spear, Black Chicago: The Making of a Negro Ghetto, 1890–
1920 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1967), 142– 43.
7 For more on Chicago’s Black Belt, see St. Clair Drake and Horace Cayton,
Black Metropolis: A Story of Negro Life in a Northern City (Chicago: Univer-
sity of Chicago Press, 1962), Spear, Black Chicago, and Joe Allen, People Wasn’t
Meant to Burn: A True Story of Housing, Race and Murder in Chicago (Chi-
cago: Haymarket Books, 2011).
8 James G. Gentry, a theatre reviewer for the black newspaper the Chicago Bee,
coined the term “Bronzeville” to replace the demeaning references to the
South Side, including Darkie Town or Black Belt. Bronzeville was the heart of
the South Side’s economic and cultural institutions during the Great Migra-
tion and the home of such institutions as Anthony Overton’s Hygienic Build-
ing, the Wabash Avenue Colored
the Chicago Defender, and the Vic-
tory Monument. Originally bound by Thirty- First and Thirty- Ninth Streets,
Bronzeville extended an additional eight blocks to Forty- Seventh Street. By
the 1960s, it was the site of large- scale public housing. By the 1980s, Bronze-
ville suffered from mass unemployment due to the movement of factories and
businesses out of the South Side to the suburbs. From the late 1990s, the area
has been the target of a redevelopment effort that has included the expan-
sion of the Illinois Institute of Technology, the rehabilitation of Bronzeville’s
grand mansions, and the opening of new businesses. Milwaukee’s black busi-
ness district was also called Bronzeville. See Michelle R. Boyd, Jim Crow Nos-
talgia: Reconstructing Race in Bronzeville (Minneapolis: University of Min-
nesota Press, 2008), Derek S. Hyra, The New Urban Renewal: The Economic
Transformation of Harlem and Bronzeville (Chicago: University of Chicago
Press, 2008), Robert Bone, Richard A. Courage, and Amritjit Singh, The
Muse in Bronzeville: African American Creative Expression in Chicago, 1932–
1950 (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2011). Bronzeville is
also the center of the landmark study of Chicago, Cayton and Drake’s Black
9 The research on African Americans in suburban Chicago is sparse, but a few
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