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The history of African Americans in Chicago dates back to Jean Baptiste Point du Sable’s trading activities in the 1780s. Du Sable is the city's founder. Fugitive slaves and freedmen established the city’s first black community in the 1840s.

The Great Migrations from 1910 to 1960 brought hundreds of thousands of blacks from the South to Chicago, where they became an urban population. We created churches, community organizations, important businesses, music, and literature. African Americans of all classes built a community on the South Side of Chicago for decades before the Civil Rights Movement, as well as on the West Side of Chicago.



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