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National Archives and Records Administration [556156]

John H. White

The End of the "Black Business Mecca"

In 1975, 16 percent of African Americans were unemployed - double the white unemployment rate. Unemployment and crime plagued Chicago's South Side, despite its reputation as the "black business Mecca of the world." In 1970 there were 8,750 black-owned businesses in Chicago, which grossed $332 million. By 2002 the unemployment rate for African Americans was still almost 11 percent, while for whites it was approximately 5 percent.

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