Bronzeville, the city’s former ‘Black Metropolis,’ is a treasure trove of historical and cultural landmarks and experiences – a living monument to the generations of African Americans who emigrated here from the South during the Great Migration at the turn of the 20th century.
This South Side community was home to the entrepreneurs, musicians, novelists, playwrights and poets who defined the black urban existence. Their influence extended beyond Chicago’s borders across the United States and was only rivaled by New York's Harlem. The names are familiar: Richard Wright, Louis Armstrong, Lorraine Hansberry, Willie Dixon, and Buddy Guy all lived or worked in the Bronzeville community. Jazz legend Louis Armstrong, civil rights leader Ida B. Wells and aviatrix Bessie Coleman were also among the many prominent African Americans associated with the community of Bronzeville and who left an indelible mark on this South Side community’s development.
The area once called the Black Metropolis expanded beyond Bronzeville's boundaries, but exploring the neighborhood as it is today reminds us of many contributions. Among the sites to see in this area are the 1928 Victory Monument, which salutes an African-American regiment in WWI, the Walk of Fame commemorating infuential African Americans, and the monument of Stephen A. Douglas which marks the tomb of Lincoln’s Democratic political rival.
Sources: Encyclopedia of Chicago, City of Chicago website, Wikipedia
Tess McKenzie knows firsthand the power of small business loans to create jobs and improve communities. In 2002, McKenzie launched her All About Kids day care facility and saw it grow to serve more than 60 children and employ eight people. In 2010, she added two more classrooms and created five more jobs.
For Corey Britt, the founder and owner of Fresh Start Day Care Center in Chicago, a partnership with Urban Partnership Bank is literally opening new doors for his business.
Two years ago, Urban Partnership Bank helped found the Financial Services Pipeline Initiative to increase “the representation of Latinos and African Americans, at all levels within Chicago’s financial industry”. On July 14th, over 200 interns and professionals from across Chicago’s financial industry filled a conference room at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago for the Initiative's third annual Summer Intern Career Conference.