|Village of Robbins, Illinois|
Location of Robbins in Cook County, Illinois.
Location of Illinois in the United States
|• Mayor||Tyrone Ward|
|• Total||1.45 sq mi (3.75 km2)|
|• Land||1.45 sq mi (3.75 km2)|
|• Water||0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2) 0%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||3,752.93/sq mi (1,449.09/km2)|
|Down 19.56% from 2000|
|Standard of living (2007-11)|
|• Per capita income||$13,089|
|• Median home value||$77,600|
Robbins is a village and a south suburb of Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 5,337 at the 2010 census, down from 6,635 in 2000. Tyrone Ward is the current mayor. Robbins is one of the oldest incorporated African American communities in the United States and the oldest black suburb in the Chicagoland area.
Robbins was incorporated on December 14, 1917 and named for Eugene S. Robbins, a real estate developer who laid out the village's early subdivisions. The village's founder and first mayor was Thomas J. Kellar, who noted in an early interview "Our people in Robbins are mostly people who get tired of the white fights and the crowded city. They come out here to raise chickens, make gardens, and be a little more free". Kellar, who was a clerk for the Cook County Board of Assessors, was tasked with investigating the procedures of incorporation. Thomas J. Kellar School in Robbins was named in his honor and first opened for the 1954 school year
After incorporation the community became a popular recreation spot for black Chicagoans, who crowded its picnic grounds and nightclubs on summer weekends.
According to the 2010 census, Robbins has a total area of 1.45 square miles (3.76 km2), all land.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the 2000 census, there were 6,635 people, 1,985 households, and 1,490 families residing in the village. The population density was 4,516.0 people per square mile (1,742.7/km2). There were 2,138 housing units at an average density of 1,455.2 per square mile (561.6/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 1.82% White, 96.25% African American, 0.12% Native American, 0.08% Asian, 0.93% from other races, and 0.80% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.94% of the population.
There were 1,985 households, out of which 34.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 27.1% were married couples living together, 40.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.9% were non-families. 22.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.13 and the average family size was 3.63.
In the village, the population was spread out, with 32.3% under the age of 18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 18.6% from 45 to 64, and 12.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.4 males.
The median income for a household in the village was $24,145, and the median income for a family was $27,602. Males had a median income of $31,667 versus $22,574 for females. The per capita income for the village was $9,837. About 30.2% of families and 35.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 44.3% of those under age 18 and 22.0% of those age 65 or over.
Robbins is in Illinois' 1st congressional district.
Interstate 294 runs through Robbins, but it has no exits within the village limits. Access to Interstates 57 and 294 are within a five- to eight-minute drive.
Midway International Airport is within 25-30 minute drive. The village is home to MDW's southern approach radar tower. O'Hare International Airport is within a 30-45 minute drive via Interstate 294 using the IL-50/ 83 Cicero Exit.
Robbins Airport, the first to be owned and operated by African-Americans in the United States, was located here from 1930 to 1933. It had the only flight school at the time where African-Americans could be trained as pilots, and served as a model for the Tuskegee Airmen Program during World War II. Many great African-American pilots flew into this forgotten airport. The surrounding white communities, such as Blue Island and Midlothian, did not approve of this activity, and their police sometimes arrested black pilots after they had landed in Robbins. The one-runway airport and hangar were destroyed by a tornado in 1933. School and operations were relocated by the invitation of white owners of the Harlem Airport in Chicago (it was located south of present-day Midway International Airport). From there, many of the flight school instructors entered the Tuskegee Airmen Program. One notable instructor and the man considered to be the founder of the Robbins airport was John C. Robinson, who was Supreme Commander of the Ethiopian Air Force when Italy invaded Ethiopia in 1935. The activities of these men and women have been recognized by the Smithsonian Institution's Air and Space Museum.
- Jan Bradley, soul singer ("Mama Didn't Lie"); grew up in Robbins
- Bessie Coleman, co-founder of the Robbins Airport with aviators John C. Robinson (aviator) and Cornelius Coffey, an operations center for black aviation
- S. B. Fuller, businessman (founded Fuller Products Company) and publisher (New York Age and Pittsburgh Courier)
- James Loving, wide receiver for Philadelphia Eagles
- Joe Montgomery, running back with the New York Giants and Carolina Panthers; born in Robbins
- Nichelle Nichols, actress, known for playing Uhura in Star Trek; born Grace Nichols in Robbins
- Keke Palmer, actress, TV show host, singer, activist, fashion designer, known for movie Akeelah and the Bee; grew up in Robbins
- Jim Smith, wide receiver for Pittsburgh Steelers, two-time Super Bowl champion; grew up in Robbins
- Dwyane Wade, former NBA shooting guard, three-time NBA champion; grew up in Robbins
- Shawn Wiggins, wide receiver for Cleveland Browns
- "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
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- Associated Negro Press (December 6, 1919). "ILLINOIS NEGROS HAVE MODEL MUNICIPALITY - CONTAINS ALL MODERN CONVENIENCES AND IS FREE FROM IDLENESS AND LOAFING". The Dallas Express. XXViI (9): 1.
- "CHICAGO BOASTS ALL-NEGRO TOWN - Robbins, ILL has Negro Mayor and Board of Trustees - Town's Population is 2500 with 11 Churches". The Pittsburgh Courier: 3. September 24, 1938.
- "1800 Students for District 143 1/2 District Schools Sept. 1". The Blue Island Sun-Standard: 2. August 26, 1954.
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- Tucker, Phillip Thomas (2012). Father of the Tuskegee Airmen, John C. Robinson. Washington, D.C.: Potomac Books. p. 46. ISBN 1597974870.
- "Potomac Books - Father of the Tuskegee Airmen, John C. Robinson:". Potomacbooksinc.com. Retrieved 2014-08-25.
- Lambertson, Giles. 'The Other Harlem', Air & Space Smithsonian, 2010, vol. 24, no.7, pp. 54-59.
- "WELCOME TO POSEN-ROBBINS SCHOOL DISTRICT 143.5 Archived 2013-05-24 at the Wayback Machine." Posen-Robbins School District 143½. Retrieved on February 24, 2013.
- "Black Aviators | Riots to Renaissance | DuSable to Obama: Chicago's Black Metropolis". WTTW. Retrieved 2014-08-25.
- Sherrod, Pamela (Jun 9, 1987). "S.B. FULLER: THE DEAN OF BLACK ENTREPRENEURS". The Chicago Tribune: Business 1.