South Shore has undergone repeated racial changes throughout its history. Because the World’s Fair of 1893 was held in Jackson Park nearby, South Shore underwent a large housing development, in which many white residents fled the community as African Americans and immigrants migrated to the area.
These former residents established Jackson Park Highlands, an exclusive residential community, and the South Shore Country Club, which at the time excluded African Americans and Jewish settlers. In the 1920s the community not only grew in population, but in diversity as well, from 31,832 to 78,755 and gained fifteen Protestant churches, four Roman Catholic churches, and four Jewish synagogues.
In 1950 the fear of instability caused by the growing integration of the White and African American communities triggered the South Shore Commission to establish “managed integration,” whose purpose was to check the physical decline of the community and create racial balance, which was largely unsuccessful. Though many commercial attempts struggled in South Shore, by the late 1990s, South Shore had become a solid middleclass African American community, whose culture had been enhanced with the establishment of various cultural centers, and the hard work of its residents.
information courtesy of Moody Publishers
"Chicago Neighborhood Prayer Guide" by Dr. John Fuder with Elizabeth Koenig
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