Little Known Black History Fact: Joyland Park

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    At 33RD street and Wabash Avenue in Chicago lived the first black amusement park called Joyland. Joyland Park was established in 1923 by W.C.S. & S Amusement Company. Joyland was designed to entertain the growing number of African Americans in the Bronzeville neighborhood of south side Chicago.

    It was “come one, come all” for free attractions with performances by the Joyland Jazzers and dance halls.  The park would showcase a merry-go-round, Venetian swing, whip and ferris wheel. It was called “a better alernative to the city cabarets,” though the owners of those venues would put up a fight against the new family-friendly parks. Some politicians and vaudeville owners lobbied against Joyland’s license renewals because it was taking away their local customers.

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