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Black Americans Headed South For Economic Salvation

Black Americans Headed South For Economic Salvation

By Taylor Durham

  • Black unemployment has fallen to 6.7%, the lowest since 1972

  • Black income in San Jose, the capital of Silicon Valley is $65,400 compared to Atlanta at $48,200

The recovery from the Great Recession has in some ways led to a tiny reversal of the Great Migration. Black Americans took the hardest hit during the 2007 housing crisis that dealt a financial blow to many across the country. Now, in a surprise turn of events, Black Americans have started migrating to the South for a chance at renewed prosperity.

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Why This Matters: In a strange twist of fate, the South has proven to be the most beneficial place to live and prosper for Black Americans. Atlanta, often referred to as the Black capital of America, touts a strong university and middle-class presence, boosted by a lucrative entertainment industry as cemented its status as a cultural capital. Since 2010, the Black population has increased by 14.7%. Black Americans in Southern cities also experience better opportunities for job growth and self-employment. Cities like Raleigh, Memphis and Montgomery, with their 28%, 64% and 59% black populations respectively act as hotbeds for black entrepreneurs. Home ownership is also proving to be a determining factor in relocating for many Black Americans.

California has been hit the hardest by Black migration, with cities like San Francisco facing the loss of their entire Black population due to the high cost of living which is 62.6% higher than the U.S. average

The Great Migration of the 20th century saw this group flee the South to escape from racial discrimination and lack of opportunity. The move led to an increased Black population in cities like New York, Chicago and Detroit, giving birth to cultural moments such as the Harlem Renaissance and Motown. The allure of industrialized cities in the North led to the rise in Black populations and with the collapse of industry jobs went the promise of a better life. More recently, redlining and economic changes in major cities have begun to squeeze out minorities due to rising taxes and diminishing opportunities.

Situational Awareness: Southern cities are transforming into tech and commerce hubs that rival their Northern and Western counterparts, prepared to welcome the influx of educated and skilled workers with the promise of a substantial salary and affordable housing. California has been hit the hardest by Black migration, with cities like San Francisco facing the loss of their entire Black population due to the high cost of living which is 62.6% higher than the U.S. average.

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