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Gangsta Island: Story of Gary, Indiana ‘Hoods

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Gangsta Island:

The Short Gary Indiana Ghetto Story

The streets of the Gary Indiana ghetto changed during the crack era of the 1980s and 1990s.  What some may not know is the city of Gary has been rough long before the introduction of drugs, but not like the 1990s as the city became crowned for having the highest homicide rate in the country and given the city the title of the “Murder Capital”.

Being part of the Chicagoland area there are Gary Indiana gangs as far as Vice Lords and Gangster Disciples, but most parts of Gary were more neighborhood influenced than being impacted by Chicago’s gang structure.

Streets of Gangsta Island

When it comes to the streets of Gary, Indiana many probably heard about CCA out of Concord area, the Bronx off Clark Road, the notorious Ivanhoe Projects, 5th Avenue, or 21st Street from the East to West side with communities like Delaney projects, Tarrytown, and Marshalltown.

Gary Indiana ghetto

The Dorie Miller Projects off 21st.

There is not a section of the Gary Indiana ghetto that is not reputable as the city has developed the mentality of “If You Can Make It Here, Then You Can Make It Anywhere” as the streets of the West Side, East Side, and South Side are truly based around the survival of the fittest.

gary indiana ghetto

5th Avenue of the West Side of Gary Indiana.

On the city’s West Side the streets stretch from the Tolleston neighborhood to the areas of Concord and the Bronx off of Burr Street, all which makes the West Side the largest side of Gary.

The South Side, which is mostly based around Broadway from 35th to 49th Avenue, is the city’s smallest section consisting only of the Glen Park neighborhood, a neighborhood that once was segregated from the city’s black population.

gary indiana ghetto

Aetna of the East Side of Gary Indiana

The East Side, which is mainly located east of Broadway, is the city’s second largest side with neighborhoods like the Valley, GuttaVille, Aetna and various other ‘hoods centered around 21st Street.

*The colors do not represent Gary Indiana gangs, but the blue for the West Side, red for the East Side, and black for the South Side. Continue reading below for more on the streets and urban communities of Gary, Indiana.




The Short Gary Indiana History

Once a segregated city with black people only being allowed to live in the Midtown section of the city, Gary, Indiana became famous for the employment opportunities that thousands of workers sought after in the US Steel factories.

While the steel industry helped the city of Gary to thrive and grow, the steel industry also helped the city to decline as factory closures led to thousands of job losses and a large exodus out of the city for over half of the city’s population.

With the arrival of World War I, many southern African-Americans were given the opportunity to work in some of the city’s wartime factories which explains the move for black families into Gary, Indiana at a time when the city was one of the country’s wealthiest and fastest growing.

With the new residents of African-Americans many resented the fact of the new arrivals, which would later lead to the growing movement of the Klu Klux Klan and the mistreatment of many Gary’s black residents. Like other cities, Gary Indiana was very segregated with black families only being allowed in the Midtown section.




Decline of Gary Indiana Ghetto

Unfortunately, by the time African-Americans began to take control of the city, by electing their first mayor, many businesses and white families began to leave for suburban Lake County communities, which began during the 1960s.

The exit out of Gary was during the time that thousands of jobs were being lost in the local steel factories helped transformed the city into the Gary Indiana ghetto as a tax base vanished and left the city unable to run as a typical city.

gary indiana ghetto

The rundown community of Marshalltown Gary Indiana

With the closing of factories an American city went from being one of the country’s richest cities to the one of the country’s poorest cities as the survival of the small Chicagoland city was based on the success of the steel factories.

Since the closures the city has had its share of poverty as the entire city is primarily dilapidated and rundown with exceptions to a few areas, along with a large exodus of the population.  Basically the city of Gary is a shell of itself since the success of the US Steel Factory and the days when Michael Jackson called the city home.

Gary Indiana Related Topics:

Chi Town: Breakdown of Chicago ‘hoods

2 Naptown: The Hoods of Indianapolis

3 East Cleveland, Ohio’s Most Dangerous City

4 FlintTown: Inside the Streets of Flint Michigan

Note: All information is provided through people of the community, outside sources, and research.  Some information might not be current and/or 100% accurate.