BlackFacts Details

History of the African-Americans in Philadelphia

This article documents the history of the African-Americans in Philadelphia.

A study of the citys black population by W. E. B. DuBois, The Philadelphia Negro, was published in 1899.

By 1976 many blacks were moving to Wynnefield, with many originating from Creek and Overbrook; the new residents of Wynnefield had recently become middle class.[1]

Circa 1976 many African-Americans resided in Powelltown Village. The majority originated from other states and held professional positions, including artists, graduate students, musicians, teachers, and writers.[1]

Circa 1961 Society Hill was a majority black and low income neighborhood, but by 1976 it became gentrified and mostly White with the remaining black population residing in about three or four high-rise apartment buildings with high rents. Black Enterprise wrote that a possible reason why wealthier blacks opted not to move to Society Hill was Unpleasant memories of the old neighborhood.[1]

The African American Museum in Philadelphia is located in Center City.

The African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas, established in 1792, was the first house of worship designated for black people in the United States. While the St. Georges United Methodist Church had initially allowed black worshipers in the main area, its black worshipers left after the church moved them to the gallery area by 1787.[2]

In 1976 66% of all students of the School District of Philadelphia were black; this number was proportionally high since whites of all economic backgrounds had a tendency to use private schools. Wealthier blacks chose not to use private schools because their neighborhoods were assigned to higher quality public schools.[1]