Soul food disappearing in Chicago as blacks leave

CHICAGO (AP) ? Soul food has been a big part of the restaurant scene in Chicago since waves of African Americans moved here from the South after World War II, but it’s now getting harder to find now.

In the past decade, one soul food restaurant after another has closed as the city lost around 17 percent of its black population. Changing tastes and the bad economy have also undercut the business.

Josephine Wade, owner of one of a half dozen surviving soul food restaurants, says customers no longer line up outside waiting for a booth. Vacant properties now dot her once vibrant South Side neighborhood. She’s struggling along with fewer customers, washing the restaurant linens herself to cut costs, but doesn’t know how long she can stay open.