Thousands of enslaved African-Americans lived near Houston before the Civil War. Many of them near the city worked on sugar and cotton plantations, while most of those in the city limits had domestic and artisan jobs. In 1860, 49% of the city’s population was enslaved.
African Americans started to settle in the community and it was founded by H. H. Holmes. Sunnyside, the oldest African-American community in southern Houston, was first platted in 1912. When the community opened in the 1910s, H. H. Holmes, the founder, gave the land the name Sunny Side. By the 1940s area residents established a water district and a volunteer fire department. The City of Houston annexed Sunnyside in 1956.
From the 1980 U.S. Census to the 1990 Census, many African-Americans left traditional African-American neighborhoods like Sunnyside and entered parts of Southwest Houston. Sunnyside lost 30% of its population in the decade prior to August 20, 1992.
Source: Sunnyside, Houston, Wikipedia