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In the 1940s and 1950s, Grand Boulevard was the major thoroughfare that ran through many South Side communities in Chicago, including a renowned area that became known as the Black Metropolis, with the nation’s highest concentrations of Black owned businesses at that time. Renamed Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive in 1968, Grand Boulevard now refers to a defined Chicago community that includes Bronzeville and several other south side neighborhoods. Today this area encapsulates a common urban dichotomy with its million dollar homes adjacent to public housing; newly constructed grocery stores in one neighborhood and food desserts in the other. As Grand Boulevard experiences this resurgence, it is in work against these and other disparities that has prompted scholars, business owners, and working class families to return to the “city within a city,”
This is the first TEDxGrandBoulevard event; highlighting the many seeds being planted and harvested on Chicago's south side. Covering a wide range of topics from community revitalization to architecture and entrepreneurship, distinctive voices near and dear to Chicago’s south side will lead the a dynamic conversation on moving the community that now span Grand Boulevard onward.
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