Be a better neighbor. Sign up for EveryBlock to follow and discuss neighborhood news.

Sign up for free →

Added Jan 17 2018

Chicago is having a Construction boom.

But there are few, if any Black African American construction workers on local (Hyde Park) construction projects.

The workers seem to be a 50-50% split between White - mostly older union workers and young Hispanics. Why is this so?

Chicago Black AA public schools no longer feature "trade school" education. The handy man type of training work is now all done by "undocumented" Hispanics and when the undocumented become citizens they have ethnic connections in trade unions and it's a natural transition.

Many occupations that were once dominated by English speaking, native born and raised Black A. A. are now overwhelmingly Hispanic - jobs like cooks, bus boys, landscapers and especially nannies. Open borders advocates (the entire Illinois Congressional Delegation led by Sen. Dick Durban) always argue that the "undocumented"/Illegal aliens only do the jobs legal Americans don't want. But, if these jobs paid a higher, living wage - then native born Americans would take them.

The entire Black Congressional Caucus gets F immigration grades from NumbersUSA and go with the idea that mass immigration from Mexico and Central America is a good thing because these people will all vote Lib Democrat.

Since I lived in Southern California I noted that Hispanics have pushed out Black AA from historic places like Watts and Compton CA - and also taken over these service jobs once done by Black Americans. So far the Chicago Democrat machine has gerrymandered Aldermanic and Congressional districts to keep Black seats, but since Chicago the city has lost ~ 50% of it's Black AA population since 2000 - it's inevitable that many/most Black aldermanic and Congressional seats will turn to Hispanic.

I also go with the idea that Chicago should not be a city in anarchy where laws against illegal immigration, hard drug trafficking and human trafficking (slavery) are not enforced as are our laws against shootings and murder.

  • There are schools, the plumbers union is looking for new students for the program. They are located on Ashland ave.

  • I see this every where i go,the funny thing is if this was the70's & 80's the gang leaders wouldn't have that in there neighborhoods.

  • jaye els Returned to Hyde Park Kenwood

    Thanks Norma W.

    We really need to promote neighborhood youth to get in to those plumbers union schools. Everywhere there are people, they are going to need water and plumbers.

  • Ann-Marie Fallon Villasana I grew up on 50th and Blackstone in Kenwood

    There are many union apprenticeship programs besides plumbers, including carpentry, electrician, tool and dye, machinists, etc, etc. Youth should be informed about these programs. union membership is declining and they are looking for apprentices!
    Also, please don't make this a race-based issue! There are also many undocumented Europeans, Irish, Polish, Ukrainian, etc out there working under the table as well. Why are the Latinos singled out?
    These conditions are wrought by our capitalistic system, people are being used for their cheap labor. No one is a winner when we divide ourselves by race. We should be united against these conditions of modern day slavery. This is basically a class issue, the people who have capital will hire the person who presents themselves to work for the lowest wage. It is not the laborers fault! Divide and oppress is what the owners of capital (rich) are doing! This is basic socialist theory

  • I know of one person who would like the construction job. He is receiving disability & insists employer/s pay him under the table. He think he knows all sorts of handyman type job but in reality, he knows very little. In other words, he's a con artists. Those of you in this category, you need to shut your trap and stop crying about life is unfair.

  • Ann-Marie Fallon Villasana I grew up on 50th and Blackstone in Kenwood

    I think the Union Apprenticeship program used to be housed at Washburn trade school. Not sure if it is still in existence

  • Ann-Marie Fallon Villasana I grew up on 50th and Blackstone in Kenwood
    Here is a start for anyone looking for a union carpentry apprentice ship program in Chicago. You can google any Union apprenticeship program and find a location in Chicago. So, let's all promote union apprenticeship as a "constructive" road to a good profession and a good living for those who are serious about this. I know union carpenters and non-union carpenters, and the benefits of union membership are awesome compared to going the non-union route. ie wages, pension, health care, working conditions, etc!

  • jaye els Returned to Hyde Park Kenwood

    Ann Marie Fallon Villasana writes:

    "There are also many undocumented Europeans, Irish, Polish, Ukrainian, etc out there working under the table as well. Why are the Latinos singled out?"

    I respond:

    It's just reality that the United States' estimated 12-20 million undocumented/illegal alien population and Chicago's undocumented/illegal alien population is overwhelmingly Mexican and Central American

  • Ann-Marie Fallon Villasana I grew up on 50th and Blackstone in Kenwood

    I understand the numbers jaye els, but I think you are missing my point! At some point in our history, many different races and ethnic groups have been targeted as "those who take away the jobs from decent Americans" including southern blacks, the Chinese, the Irish, the Germans, the Italians, etc, etc. This is a pattern that you are perpetuating without regarding the underlying issue of class division, etc. Again, I state that dividing people by race is not advancing anyone! How about some comments about my info on the union apprenticeship programs??

  • jaye els Returned to Hyde Park Kenwood

    I appreciate your comments on the union apprenticeship.


    I stand by my arguments that Chicago should not have immigration anarchy or criminal, violent crime anarchy and we do have both.

    No nation can survive without borders

    No nation can survive if laws against mass illegal immigration, human trafficking (slavery) hard drug smuggling are not enforced.

    The Cartels are doing both big time in our Chicago - hard drug smuggling and human trafficking - slavery.

    It's also reality that Black African Americans have been pushed out of many jobs they used to do:

    Cooks, bus boys, landscaping, handy men, especially nannies.

    Black AA Americans used to dominate the job of nanny.

    There are lots of reason Chicago has lost 50% of its Black African American population and it's related why Black AA have been getting ethnically cleansed out of Southern Calfiornia.

  • Juan from South Loop 16 year South Loop resident


    You have not addressed the main issue. The issue is lack of upward mobility for each preceding AA generation. Should we complain about not being able to hold a lock on every unskilled position we once dominated? We dominated those fields because we were willing to work for less than the previous group that dominated the field. One of the big issue is they outsourced many of the manufacturing jobs that were the next steps for people leaving the lower skilled jobs. We dominated a lot of the fields but didn't control enough other them with the ownership of landscaping, janitorial, and nannies businesses to withstand the influx.

    Yes, There was a big push, across the country, beginning in the early 1990s to push all kids towards college and away from trade schools. They implemented all these standardized test just to track the progress. If white folks were going to prepare their kids for college then blacks were going to follow and not be left out. I think over the last 5 years there has been a realization that the push towards college may have gone too far. Dunbar recently reintroduced it's construction trade program.

    I'm not sure I totally agree with us being pushed out of Southern Cal. We just don't have the growth. We have not had a major internal migrations of AA to Cali(Southern and Bay area) since the late 70s and early 80s. The major industries that pulled AA to the west, aerospace and navy in Southern Cali and ship building in the Bay area, are mostly gone. Hispanic have external and internal growth. The jobs available are still better than what they have at home so they keep coming

    The AA population is falling/stagnant in most parts of the country except the South where new medium/high skilled manufacturing jobs are created. Boeing making planes in Charleston, SC while Airbus makes planes in Mobile, AL. Toyota announced 4k jobs Huntsville, AL

  • jaye els Returned to Hyde Park Kenwood

    Thanks Juan from South Loop - you made very insightful comments.

    "We dominated those fields because we were willing to work for less than the previous group that dominated the field. "

    I respond:

    I think there was more to this than just AA being the lowest cost workers. A job such as a nanny isn't something that parents are going to just go for the lowest priced worker - they want someone who they can trust their children with - someone who is dependable and loving. And was part of the remarkable relationship between Whites and Blacks in this country that Black nannies and other servants were beloved, trusted almost or even part of the family.

    I felt in so many ways we had much better race relations between English speaking White and Black Christian Americans - where now the groups try to avoid each other.

  • Juan from South Loop 16 year South Loop resident


    Nannies was always different because they are in your house and raising your kids. Its more personal than the other jobs. Growing up in Greenville, SC my grandmother was a nanny/housekeeper for a Greek Family and an Italian family. They treated her with the up-most respect and the kids had to treat her almost like she was their own grandmother. However, my grandmother never had a desire for any of her kids or grandchildren to raise white folk kids.They saw too many new options.

    I understand what you are saying about the construction industry. Growing up I saw many AA guys who got off track use construction to get things going. Its an industry without an application that inquires about your background. Many went on to learn how to work with concrete and other skills they could use for a side hustle in the neighborhood.

    Race relation have always been a little odd. We had the most tumultuous race relation during the time than many blacks were nannies and butlers. The only difference now is a 3rd party is now involved. Its was mostly black and white for 400 years and now a large 3rd party has joined.

    Immigration, legal or illegal, has never benefited AA. When the hoards of immigrants from central and southern Europe flooded Ellis Island we complained about them bringing in poor Europeans instead of hiring the poor AA available. Immigration is never going to bring in a new hoard of AA because we don't exist outside the country. We have a tangential relation with Afro-Caribbeans and Africans. Those countries have small immigration into the US.

  • Juan from South Loop 16 year South Loop resident

    I wouldn't say that entire Chicago Democratic machine is on board with the current immigration process. Several AA alderman have taken a slightly different approach(passive aggressive). AA alderman had to donate a ward during the last redistricting. They gave up the historical black 2nd ward that was held by a white alderman at the time. Not sure it becomes that easy during the next redistricting. It matters when your job is on the line.

    The congressional districts are probably safe for the next cycle.

  • jaye els Returned to Hyde Park Kenwood

    The congressional districts are probably safe for the next cycle."

    I respond:

    Maybe safe for the next cycle - but after that... I see Rep. .Danny Davis losing his district, no amount of gerrymandering is going to keep the Black West side Congressional seat safe as young hipsters continue to flood in and the Hispanic population continues to rapidly decrease while Chicago's Black AA population continues to dramatically decline.

6 neighbors are subscribed to this conversation.

Posted to Bronzeville

This was posted to Bronzeville

What's the news in your neighborhood? Search for your ZIP code:

e.g. 60615