Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Entries : Stroll, The
Stroll, The

Stroll, The

Plantation Café
The Stroll was the name given to State Street between 26th and 39th Streets. In the 1910s and 1920s, thanks to the publicity efforts of the Chicago Defender, it was the best-known street in African America, rivaled only by Seventh and Lenox Avenues in Harlem.

The Stroll was where the action was. This section of State Street was jammed with black humanity night and day. In the evening the lights blazed and the sidewalks were crowded with patrons attending the jazz clubs and those just gazing at all the activity. During daylight hours it was a place to loiter, to gossip and watch the street life. Black Chicagoans were on show and they dressed up and acted accordingly. There were women on the Stroll but it was a place that displayed an aggressively masculine ethos.

The opening of the hugely successful Savoy Ballroom at 47th Street and South Parkway in 1927 created a new center of black nightlife that effectively killed off the Stroll.

Chicago Defender. Various issues.
White, Shane, and Graham White. Stylin': African American Expressive Culture from Its Beginnings to the Zoot Suit. 1998.