“South Philly” is a city in itself, encompassing a wide variety of neighborhoods south of South Street and between the Delaware River to the east and Schuylkill River to the west.
Known primarily for its love of food, sports, festivals, and various strong cultural influences, South Philadelphia is an exciting place to live. A local newspaper, South Philly Review can provide a little insight into the scene.
A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY
Culturally, the area is known for its large Italian American population, but that is certainly rivaled by a large population of Irish Americans and African Americans as well. The diversity of the area has been steadily growing, as it is with Philadelphia on the whole.
South Philadelphia originated as a satellite town of Philadelphia with small townships such as Moyamensing and Southwark. The Industrial Revolution brought an influx of working class laborers, immigrants looking for factory jobs and dock work. It officially joined “Philadelphia proper” in 1854 with the Act of Consolidation.
Many of the immigrants that continued to populate the area were of Italian, Irish, and Polish descent during the late 19th century. Black American migrants came from the southern U.S. in the early 20th century. They helped form the vibrant culture of today with a strong basis in Catholicism, and there are several modern-day festivals that celebrate this history.
Of course, the city became incredibly diverse in the second half of the 20th century with increased presence of Jewish, Greek, Asian, Russian, and Mexican migrants. These influences are present in nearly every section of South Philadelphia, most notably in the form of cuisine.
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