African Americans are greatly responsible for the impressive growth of Durham County in North Carolina, once known as the "Capital of the Black Bourgeoisie".
Durham County, North Carolina, once called the "Chicago of the South" and the "Capital of the Black Bourgeoisie," has long occupied an important place in the hearts and minds of those who called Durham County home. African Americans have played a vital role in the growth and development of the region over the years, from antebellum times to Reconstruction to the Civil Rights era and in the present. The African American citizens of this historic Tar Heel county share an impressive story marked by determination, economic achievement, and resilience, and they have made a difference in all walks of life—educational, religious, civic, and commercial. This pictorial history reflects upon the rich and vibrant role that African Americans played in the area following emancipation. In its earliest stages, residents in such neighborhoods as Hayti, Hickstown, Crest Street, Pearsontown, the West End, the East End, and Walltown each created sturdy surviving communities that have shaped Durham.