Social History for Every Classroom


Social History for Every Classroom

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“A colored family in a one room light housekeeping apartment”

One of the first challenges for southern migrants who arrived in Northern cities like Chicago was finding a place to live. One report tells of a single day when 600 families applied to live in 53 housing units. Given the demand, unscrupulous landlords charged high rents for run-down apartments. Rapid population growth was not the only reason black families had so few options. Both de facto and de jure segregation contained black residents' housing choices to a few neighborhoods like those on Chicago's south side that became known as the city's "black belt." A strong sense of family sustained many migrants through these difficult conditions.

Source | Known as "Chicago Families in Furnished Rooms" or "A Colored Family in a One-Room Light Housekeeping Apartment," in dissertation by Evelyn Heacox Wilson, March 1929; University of Chicago Library.
Creator | Unknown
Item Type | Photograph
Cite This document | Unknown, ““A colored family in a one room light housekeeping apartment”,” SHEC: Resources for Teachers, accessed March 4, 2024,

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