Photographed: Summertime in 1970s Chicago

Today’s blog was written by Dr. Tina L. Ligon, Supervisory Archivist in Textual Processing at the National Archives at College Park, Maryland

During the 1970s, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sponsored the Documerica program that photographed subjects of environmental concern and everyday life in America. The series DOCUMERICA: The Environmental Protection Agency’s Program to Photographically Document Subjects of Environmental Concern, 1972 – 1977 (National Archives Identifier 542493) contains photographs by several well-known photographers contracted by the EPA. Some of the subjects photographed in this series include National Parks, the Great Lakes, mountains, urban areas, and air and water pollution. This series consists of 35mm color slides and black and white negatives and prints. Also, within this series are images depicting black life in Chicago during the summers of the 1970s. These images were taken by photographer John H. White.

BLACK GHETTO CHILD SAVORS A SNOW CONE JUST RECEIVED FROM A SIDEWALK VENDOR ON CHICAGO'S WEST SIDE. THIS PORTION OF THE CITY WAS HARD HIT BY RIOTS AND FIRES IN THE MID AND LATE 1960'S AND WAS SLOW TO RECOVER. HELP CAME WHEN BLACK BUSINESSMEN, WITH FEDERAL HELP REACHED AN AGREEMENT WITH SEVERAL NATIONAL FRANCHISES WHICH RESULTED IN $20 MILLION WORTH OF JOBS TO RESIDENTS BY 1974, 6/1973 (NAID 556213)

BLACK GHETTO CHILD SAVORS A SNOW CONE JUST RECEIVED FROM A SIDEWALK VENDOR ON CHICAGO’S WEST SIDE. THIS PORTION OF THE CITY WAS HARD HIT BY RIOTS AND FIRES IN THE MID AND LATE 1960’S AND WAS SLOW TO RECOVER. HELP CAME WHEN BLACK BUSINESSMEN, WITH FEDERAL HELP REACHED AN AGREEMENT WITH SEVERAL NATIONAL FRANCHISES WHICH RESULTED IN $20 MILLION WORTH OF JOBS TO RESIDENTS BY 1974, 6/1973 (NAID 556213)

In Chicago during the 1970s, African Americans enjoyed sun and fun at the 12th Street Beach on Lake Michigan. With the hot summers, people often cooled off at local beaches. These images showcase black Chicagoans playing on the beach, splashing in the water, and enjoying family time.

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The Bud Billiken Day Parade and Picnic is an annual event to celebrate African-American life. It is held on the second Saturday in August in the Bronzeville neighborhood in Chicago’s South Side. The parade started in 1929 and is named after a fictional character created by Robert S. Abbott the publisher and founder of the Chicago Defender, who was featured in the newspaper to educate black children. The parade highlights celebrities, politicians, businessmen, civic organizations and youth groups.

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Enjoy the rest of your summer!

BLACK MAN ENJOYING A NAP ON A CHAISE LOUNGE ON CHICAGO'S SOUTH SIDE. FROM 1960 TO 1970 THE PERCENTAGE OF CHICAGO BLACKS WITH AN INCOME OF $7,000 OR MORE JUMPED FROM 26 TO 58%. MEDIAN BLACK INCOME DURING THE PERIOD INCREASED FROM $4,700 TO $7,883, BUT THE DOLLAR GAP BETWEEN THEIR GROUP AND THE WHITES ACTUALLY WIDENED, 8/1973 (NAID 556292)

BLACK MAN ENJOYING A NAP ON A CHAISE LOUNGE ON CHICAGO’S SOUTH SIDE. FROM 1960 TO 1970 THE PERCENTAGE OF CHICAGO BLACKS WITH AN INCOME OF $7,000 OR MORE JUMPED FROM 26 TO 58%. MEDIAN BLACK INCOME DURING THE PERIOD INCREASED FROM $4,700 TO $7,883, BUT THE DOLLAR GAP BETWEEN THEIR GROUP AND THE WHITES ACTUALLY WIDENED, 8/1973 (NAID 556292)

 

 

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One Response to Photographed: Summertime in 1970s Chicago

  1. Dr. Troy Muhammad says:

    Really?!?!? Black Ghetto Child??? The things that were acceptable are incredulous!! :-/

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