ABC7 Live in Your Neighborhood: Bronzeville

Terrell Brown Image
Friday, May 13, 2016

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It's a party in Bronzeville! ABC7's Terrell Brown reports live Friday from one of Chicago's most vibrant neighborhoods. He spoke with people and organizations that make this South Side community great.

Marcus Davis, owner of Techniques Barber Shop in Calumet City, gave kids free haircuts Friday morning.

"This is important to me because I'm from Chicago. Born and raised here. It's just a blessing to be able to give back to the community whenever we can, you know? We're here just trying to make things happen," Davis said.

Several neighborhood restaurants served free food at the block party! Check out the video below to find out who:

No party is complete without a bouncy house - and Bounce Houses R Us brought two!

The Jesse White Tumblers showcased some of their best stunts, with Chicago White Sox mascot Southpaw in the mix!

The South Shore Drill Team closed the show with an impressive performance.

Bronzeville bank saved by brothers, committed to serving community once again

There are fewer than 25 black-owned banks in the country. One of them is Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood.

Illinois Service Federal Savings and Loan opened in 1934. This year was almost its last.

ISF was once the only place African Americans could bank in the city. Senior Vice President Monica Thomas has been with the bank for more than 30 years.

"The majority of our employees work and live in the same community. So that means we understand what goes on here," Thomas said.

During the economic downturn, the bank would often make loans to help local families keep their homes. It was a lifeline for residents who had lost their jobs.

"That's been our mission. That's been our legacy. We just made up our minds that we weren't going to change that," Thomas said.

But that help nearly caused the bank to run out of money. In dire need, Thomas met the Nduom family.

"Our main interest in this bank was to build something that will have an impact on the community," Kweku Ndoum said.

That led the family to invest in the bank - and save it.

"Being able to provide some of the services that are still really needed in this community, access to credit, mortgages, and just a place to go and get money that you may not be able to get without the presence of a black bank," Ndoum said.

Kweku Ndoum and his brother, Chiefy, are the bank's new owners. Their family is from Ghana, but they were born and raised in the Midwest.

"We are young black guys, from a black, family-owned business. We can do business just like anybody else in any other sector. We can inspire other people to join in and do the same," Chiefy Ndoum said.

The Ndoums said ISF bank is well on its way to being restored to its former glory.