CaptionView from a South Side beach towards downtown Chicago during a summer storm. Chicago South Side has long had a distinct identity, associated with the city's African American community. In the 1970s and 1980s, the once thriving industrial communities of the South Side hit hard economic times and unemployment, poverty, drugs, and gang violence became major issues. Despite their adversities, South Side residents preserve a strong sense of community feeling. But now many are faced with displacement, as upscale redevelopment of some areas means that they can no longer afford to live there.