Last Saturday, Polished Pebbles hosted its April Second Saturday event with GirlTrek. They lead a walking tour around Bronzeville to teach our girls the history of the neighborhood and its importance to the city. Which has lead us to ask you, “How much do you know about Bronzeville”?
Here’s your chance to improve your Bronzeville knowledge with some quick facts and information.
How did “Bronzeville” get it’s name?
From the 1920’s to the 1950s, the neighborhood now known as “Bronzeville” was a hub for African American business and culture. In 1930, a theater editor for the Chicago Bee, James J. Gentry, suggested his term “Bronzeville” be used as the name for the area as it reflected the skin tone of those who lived there. And it stuck!
What was Bronzeville most popular for?
This neighborhood was where it was happening late at night! People came through to go to dance and listen to music all night. In fact, the Regal Theater opened in 1920 and was the go to spot for upcoming and successful black entertainers.
Why is this neighborhood so important anyway?
Well, on top of being the hit music and dance scene, Bronzeville was a safe space for black men and women to be intellectuals, artists, business owners, and thrive! During the time period of its uprising, segregation was raging throughout Chicago. Bronzeville opened up alternative businesses and community centers, such as the Wabash YMCA and the Provident Hospital.
We hope you picked up some information you didn’t know beforehand. Make sure you take the time to explore Bronzeville as the weather gets warmer. Remember, the more you know about your history, the more informed you are about the present!