In the South, post-Emancipation, schools, orphanages, poorhouses, and hospitals designed for freed slaves, remained segregated and terribly under-funded. Churches, parks, restaurants, and cemeteries were also all segregated by race in the South. Even though African Americans comprised the majority of the population, post-emancipation life continued to be difficult for African Americans in the South. Even in predominantly African American areas, whites continued to try to limit African American educational, financial, social and political opportunities. Thus, even though these places were segregated, white influence continued to permeate the boundaries. Thus, many African Americans called for complete segregation. These completely African American spaces would have a business district as well as other services run by African Americans for African Americans. In search for places free from white discrimination, several all African American communities were formed. One of these communities which was perhaps the most successful was Mound Bayou, Mississippi.

Though segregation was illegal in the
North, unfair housing and employment practices created an urban ghetto which were primarily African American. In 1934, The Worker's Progress Association surveyed the living conditions of African Americans on South Side of Chicago. They looked at the twenty-three districts of the South Side, bounded by Roosevelt Road on the north, 71st Street on the South, State Street on the west, and Lake Michigan on the east. The findings were telling. Wherever African Americans lived on the South Side, they were a substantial majority of the population.

Percentage of African Americans by District in South Side, Chicago, 1934

District One: 78 District Seven: 68 District Thirteen: 98 District Nineteen: 94
District Two: 81 District Eight: 72 District Fourteen: 94 District Twenty: 86
District Three: 71 District Nine: 94 District Fifteen: 91 District Twenty-one: 95
District Four: 52 District Ten: 97 District Sixteen: 95 District Twenty-two: 90
District Five: 80 District Eleven: 93 District Seventeen: 96 District Twenty-three: 63
District Six: 86 District Twelve: 97 District Eighteen: 95

Despite the freedom from many of the oppressive conditions of the South, African Americans continued to inhabit communities which were primarily African American. In addition to unfair housing practices in the Chicago, the struggle to survive and the race riots caused many African Americans to try to create alternative communities free from whites. These communities brought African Americans in close contact with one another and allowed for the concentration of African American economic power. This allowed for the development of a strong African American entrepreneurial base. The predominantly African American communities presented residents with a host of new opportunities in education, religion, intellectual endeavors, politics, and journalism all of which were owned and operated by African Americans. The South Side of Chicago, for instance, was home to four African American newspapers: The Whip, The Defender, The Bee and the Associated Negro Press.
Bronzeville was one of the African American communities which developed on the south side of Chicago.

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