BARCC Leadership

President & Commercial Development Liaison
Mell Monroe
monroe@thebarcc.org

Vice President of Strategy
Safety / Security & Clean and Green

Dr. Keith McCoy
keith@thebarcc.org

Treasurer & Fundraising Director
Pamela Dempsey
pam@bronzevilleproperties.com

Records Chair & Condominium Liaison Director
Angela Higginbotham-Monroe
angie@thebarcc.org

Director of Activities & Marketing
Jonese Burnett
jonese@thebarcc.org

Director of Membership Development
Michelle Brown
michelle@thebarcc.org

Director of External Communications
OPEN

Director of Safety & Security / Chairman
Marie Smith
marie@thebarcc.org

Director of Condominium Development
Iva Funderberg
iva@thebarcc.org

Director of Commercial Development
Akari Muhansi
akari@thebarcc.org

Co-Director of Commercial Development
Teshera Henderson
teshera@thebarcc.org

Asst. Director of Commercial Development
Clarence Carson
clarence@thebarcc.org

Political Liaison
Tyrone Forte
tforte@thebarcc.org

Director of Condominium
Development Outreach

Marvell Turnage
marvell@thebarcc.org

Communications Director
Mechele Elias
mechele@thebarcc.org

Board Member

Phaedra Leslie
phaedra@thebarcc.org



History of Bronzeville

A narrow stretch of land on Chicago's south side is often referred to as near south or as mid-south, but is more commonly known as Bronzeville. With Cermak Road (22nd St.) on the north (the gateway), Washington Park on the south, Federal Street to its west and Lake Michigan as its eastern border, this area is rich in history and culture. Before it became Bronzeville its lush green boulevards and stately estates were home to some of Chicago's barons of industry and entertainment, such as the Swifts and the Marx Brothers.

The Great Migration of the early 1900's from the South brought many African -Americans to the southside of Chicago. Bronzeville became a vibrant community inhabited by musicians, businessmen, politicians, entrepreneurs, and millionaires.
 
Tim Black is a Professor Emeritus of Social Science at the City Colleges of Chicago. Black has spent a lifetime furthering the cause of social justice and is active in civic and community organizations. He has taught Black history and sociology at several schools including Columbia College and Roosevelt University.

Bronzeville boasted the first black owned and operated bank and insurance company. This area also played host to such jazz and blues greats as Louis Armstrong, and Nat "King" Cole. Other noteworthy residents include, author Lorraine Hansberry, aviator Bessie Coleman, Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, Congressman William Dawson, and local publishing magnate, the late John H. Johnson.

Following World War II, decades of economic disinvestment and social change, Bronzeville's luster diminished. Businesses shut their doors and African Americans moved further south due to the elimination of restricted housing covenants. This resulted in nearly one-third of Bronzeville's housing stock becoming vacant or abandoned. But by the mid 1990's, signs of revitalization and interest emerged.

More About Bronzeville's History
Douglas, located on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois is one of 77 well-defined Chicago community areas. The neighborhood is named for Stephen A. Douglas a famous Illinois politician whose estate included a tract of land given to the federal government. The Douglas tract later became the infamous Civil War Union prison camp, Camp Douglas, located in what is now the eastern portion of the Douglas neighborhood. As part of the Chicago 2016 Olympic bid, the Olympic Village is planned to be located on a 37-acre (150,000 m2) truck parking lot south of McCormick Place that is mostly in the Douglas community area and partly in the Near South Side.

The Douglas community area stretches from 26th Street South to Pershing Road along the Lake Shore including parts of the Green Line along State Street and the Metra Electric and Amtrak passenger railroad tracks which run parallel to Lake Shore Drive. The community area contains part of the famous neighborhood of Bronzeville, a very famous center of African-American culture in the city.

Bronzeville is a neighborhood located in the Douglas and Grand Boulevard community areas on the South Side of city of Chicago around the Illinois Institute of Technology and Illinois College of Optometry. It is accessible via the Green, Red Lines of the Chicago Transit Authority or the Metra Electric District Main Line.

In the early 20th century, Bronzeville was known as the "Black Metropolis," one of the nation's most significant landmarks of African-American urban history. Between 1910 and 1920, during the peak of the "Great Migration," the population of the area increased dramatically when thousands of African-Americans fled the oppression of the south and emigrated to Chicago in search of industrial jobs.

Douglas (Chicago, Illinois)

Community Area 35 - Douglas
Chicago Community Area 35 - Douglas
Location within the city of Chicago

Latitude
Longitude

41°49.8′N 87°37.2′W
41.83°N 87.62°W

Neighborhoods
ZIP Code

parts of 60609, 60616 and 60653

Area

4.33 km² (1.67 mi²)

Population Density
(as of 2000)

26,470 (down 13.64% from 1990)
6,119.8 /km²

Demographics Black
White
Hispanic
Asian
Other

85.5%
6.59%
1.11%
5.25%
1.53%

Median income

$27,800

Source: U.S. Census, Record Information Services

In the early 20th century, Bronzeville was known as the "Black Metropolis," one of the nation's most significant landmarks of African-American urban history. Between 1910 and 1920, during the peak of the "Great Migration," the population of the area increased dramatically when thousands of African-Americans fled the oppression of the south and emigrated to Chicago in search of industrial jobs.

Many famous people were associated with the development of the area including: Andrew "Rube" Foster, founder of the Negro National Baseball League; Ida B. Wells, a civil rights activist, journalist and organizer of the NAACP; Bessie Coleman, the first African-American woman pilot; Gwendolyn Brooks, famous author and first African-American recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, actress Marla Gibbs, the legendary singers, Sam Cooke and Lou Rawls, and Louis Armstrong, the legendary trumpet player and bandleader who performed at many of the area's night clubs. The neighborhood contains the Chicago Landmark Black Metropolis-Bronzeville District.

47th Street was and remains the hub of the Bronzeville neighborhood and in recent years has started to regain some of the former glory of years gone by. Gone though for good is the Regal Theater (demolished in 1973) where many great performers took the stage.

During the 1950s and 1960s, a decision was made to replace the "slums" with several straight miles of high-rise public housing projects, managed by the Chicago Housing Authority, essentially isolating and simultaneously concentrating the poor black population in this section of the city. The largest complex was Robert Taylor Homes.

Origins of the name
The name itself was first used in 1930, by James J. Gentry, a local theatre editor for the Chicago Bee publication. It refers to the skin color of African-Americans, predominant in that area at that time. It is also more accurate, because the skin tone of African-Americans is more brown than black. It has become common usage throughout the decades.
© 2014 Bronzeville Area Residents' and Commerce Council. All Rights Reserved.
© Photos courtesy of Tony Burroughs. All Rights Reserved.
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