Interactive Map of 1910 Ypsilanti African American Community

A map locating Ypsilanti African American households (red), businesses (blue) and domestic servants (green) based on the 1910 Polk’s Directory of Washtenaw County. The area between First Avenue and Hamilton was largely given over to orchards, worked in by local African Americans, at the time. This created a ‘buffer’ between the newer black community on 1st Avenue and downtown, and white, Ypsilanti. The map is based on addresses in a 1910 directory; most of the locations are approximate. Ypsilanti’s black population was also undoubtedly larger than the 1910 directory would indicate (the 1910 US Census counts over 450 African Americans living in Ypsilanti that year). Zoom in to explore; click on any icon for the name and more information. The icon on the top left opens the map in full screen.

In the map of the Ainsworth subdivsion below, laid out and built for whites in the inter-war years, notice how no street connects to the existing black neighborhoods surrounding it (the proposed street at Buffalo was never constructed). The only entrances are from Michigan or Hamilton. The color-line in the subdivision was broken in the decade after World War Two and the area is now largely African American.

1950 Sanford Map of the Ainsworth subdivision.

1927 Sanford Map of the Ainsworth subdivision.

 

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