Thursday, January 2, 2020

Joyland (Amusement) Park, Chicago, Illinois. (1923-1925)

Opened in 1923 located at 3301 South Wabash Avenue, Joyland Park brought the pleasures of Chicago's larger amusement parks to the city's rapidly growing South Side negro community. The park was the largest amusement park in the country owned and operated by negroes. Its financial backers included several of the city's leading businessmen and attorneys.

Joyland Park was much smaller than the city's premier amusement parks of that time; Riverview and White City. It occupied on a plot of land barely two acres in area and featured only four major rides; a merry-go-round, Venetian swing, the whip, and a Ferris wheel. 

Because it was owned and operated by negros, the park offered black Chicagoans freedom from the indignities and hostilities they often faced when visiting the city's whites-only amusement parks mentioned above. Despite this, the park only remained in operation for two seasons, closing in 1925.
ADDITIONAL READING:

Before Joyland Park there was the Chateau De La Plaisance Amusement Park at 5318-26 South State Street in Chicago which opened in 1907 but they closed in 1910. The Chateau branded itself as “The Only Amusement Park and Pavilion in the World Owned and Controlled by Negroes.

African Americans at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, A People Without a Nation.

Negro Day, August 25, 1893, at the World's Columbian Exposition.

Reason Why the Colored American is not in the World's Columbian Exposition. published in 1893.

Removal of the racially charged "African Dip" game from Riverview Park, Chicago.
Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.

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