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"Sundays Best"

Updated on July 11, 2014
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The gentlemen

It's Easter Sunday 1941 on South Parkway now renamed Martin Luther King Drive, in Chicago. The young man in the center of this image is said to be Mr. Spencer Readus (Whom recently passed away). According to Mr. Readus, after church, he and his friends were in route to a local movie theatre when a local photographer named Mr.. Lee walked by with camera in hand and asked if he could take their picture.

Well, as they say, the rest is history and now this image of these four young men dressed in their Sunday's best clothing atop a vintage vehicle is known the world over.


More about Bronzeville

Sign of the times

By this time, America's involvement in World War II had ensued, Bronzeville was still in its glory days as Chicago's Black Metropolis aka Black Belt created by Restrictive Covenants which with very few exceptions, legally prohibited African Americans from using, occupying, buying, leasing, or receiving property outside of Bronzeville until finally the U.S. Supreme Court declared restrictive covenants unenforceable in Shelley v. Kraemer (1948).

Despite all of that, this world renowned image is cherished by most Chicagoans who lived in Bronzeville because, it speaks volumes about the people, the values instilled in our young men and the quality of life back then. A time when blacks from every walk of life lived, worked, worshiped and played within the same community and when there was no Eastside, Northside, Southside or Westside of town designation for blacks, there was just "Bronzeville".


 Ida B. Wells - Barnett House.. Address: 3624 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. Bronzeville, Chicago. Year Built: 1889. Architect: Joseph A. Thain. Designated a Chicago Landmark.Courtesy of This Old House
Ida B. Wells - Barnett House.. Address: 3624 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. Bronzeville, Chicago. Year Built: 1889. Architect: Joseph A. Thain. Designated a Chicago Landmark.Courtesy of This Old House

Among This Old House magazine's best neighborhoods for stunning old houses with a lot of heart:

Bronzeville, the Chicago neighborhood once dubbed the "Black Metropolis" has earned the distinction of being named This Old House magazine's best neighborhoods for stunning old houses with a lot of heart:Click here to read more about Bronzeville and to view more images: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/24/bronzeville-this-old-hous_n_3984557.html



References:

Racial Restrictive Covenants on Chicago's South Side: http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/1761.html

Restrictive Covenants: http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/1067.html

© 2014 Pasha Golliday

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