District 227 History
The district was formed in a non high school territory in 1949. Rich East campus was the first school was the first to be constructed in 1952 on 55 acres donated by the American Community Builders, Inc. Rich East can accommodate 1,500 to 1,600 students. A Rich Central Campus was opened in 1963 and was hailed as one of the “significant schools of the future” published by the Ford Foundation. The school was equipped to handle up to 1,500 students. In 1966, building additions to the Central and East Campus brought the capacity of both campuses to 3,900. The Rich South Campus was established in 1961 in Richton Park. Today this school currently serves 1,300 students. Over the three campuses, Rich Township District 227 serves the educational needs of over 4,300 students varying in ethic cultural, social and economic backgrounds.
Community History Before segregation, Chicago’s African Americans were integrated between the City’s South and West Sides. Many worked as white servants and bought properties on the outskirts of the City. African Americans that began filtering into the suburban communities were seen as inferior until their hostility gave way to tolerance or openness. In 1910, there were over 40, 000 African Americans in the City of Chicago and another 5,000 in the suburbs. They were mainly segregated into a small area called the Black Belt, which was entirely African American (Spear 1967 p14-15). In the First Great Migration (1910-1940), the residents of Chicago grew in the 1920s to over 65,000 and over crowding lead to an expansion of the Black belts borders. This caused threats, violence, organized resistance, riots and even bombings that lead to White landowners refusing to make transactions of property with African Americans. Strict rental and residential laws restricted black mobility, limited options and intensified racial segregation. In the Second Great Migration (1940-1970), the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insured mortgages granted be the bank by up to 40% more. However, African Americans residents of Chicago continued to face discrimination of being denied home loans by white resistance. As the Chicago Metropolitan Area increased, policies were established to replace African American residential homes with housing beyond the range of its former residents. The Federal Housing Act of 1949 cleared slums and increased public money for housing units and home insurance. As the demolition and displacement of Chicago’s African American communities continued, residents crowded into the Black Belt along the City’s South and West Sides. Most suburban African American residents lived as in home servants or along steel and railroad based cities such as Aurora, Harvey and Joliet. African Americans limited within the majority of white suburbs and those that began to allow African Americans within their communities would leave leaving African Americans Isolated. In the 1960s and 1970s, African Americans began to suffer from unemployment and poverty due to the absence of industrial jobs and the lack of black mobility. The Civil Rights legislation finally began to improve African American conditions by decreasing Federal legislation that banned discrimination, which helped blacks earn a better wage. It also prohibited discrimination of the purchasing and renting of housing. The public housing department accused of racially segregating areas and was mandated to build housing in scattered areas. They also created a housing program to relocate 7,100 families to the suburbs through a voucher program. African Americans began to move into older and less attractive white areas, which increased black mobility and the housing market (Snidal 2012 p11-12) In the 1980s and 1990s, 19% of African American Chicagoans moved to the suburbs. By 2000, 27% in Chicago lived in the suburbs and 1/3rd of African Americans in the nation lived in the suburbs (Stuart 2002). Also, many