World War II brought many changes to the South Side. It definitively
ended the Depression and brought a new prosperity to the city.
It also brought a new migration of black people from the South.
Because of the restricted housing patterns in Chicago, the Black
Belt began to swell under the pressure of a quickly expanding
population. Woodlawn, the neighborhood immediately northwest of
South Shore, saw its black population almost triple during the
war. The Irish and Jewish people of South Shore now saw the Black
Belt, from which they had fled, appear on their very doorsteps.
For upwardly mobile black people, South Shore began to look like
an attractive place to live.
The white community in South Shore seemed determined to hold
on, and the 1950 census actually showed a decrease in the black
population there, probably because black people who worked in
the area could now find housing in neighboring Woodlawn. But the
phenomenon of neighborhood change in Chicago was already occurring
south of Jackson Park.
The following decade saw a dramatic increase in the black population
of South Shore. By 1960 black people comprised ten percent of
the population, but they were restricted for the most part to
the area west of Stony Island Avenue. A rapid increase in the
black population followed another instance of white flight. By
1970, 55,483 blacks lived in South Shore out of a total population
of 80,529. The 1970s saw a further increase in this trend.