Far Southeast Side
Business slowly reached Chatham in the early 1900s with steel mills, masonry, and the railroad that supplied jobs to European settlers. By 1920 Chatham experienced an increase in population from 9,774 to 36,228.
Then, after the Great Depression, the African American population increased from one percent in 1950 to sixty-four percent by 1960. Learning from the violence that took place in other communities, there was much less resistance to the demographic changes in the community. Churches welcomed the new residents into their congregations, and the Chatham-Avalon Park Community Council began to allow African Americans into the organization.
However, due mostly to the scare tactics of some real-estate agents, many of the previous European settlers moved out of the area, leaving a reported ninety-nine percent African American population in Chatham by 1990. The newly settled African American population worked hard to maintain the middle-class character of Chatham and many successful businessmen have come from the neighborhood.
information courtesy of Moody Publishers
"Chicago Neighborhood Prayer Guide" by Dr. John Fuder with Elizabeth Koenig
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