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http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4176/is_20040524/ai_n14576840

In what demographers are calling a "full scale reversal" of the Great Migration in the early part of the 20th century, blacks are leaving California, New York, Illinois and New Jersey and retracing steps to a place their families once fled -- the South.

This population shift of hundreds of thousands of blacks is nowhere near the millions who left the South from 1910 to 1970. But the flow is sustained and large enough, according to a study released today by the Brookings Institution, that a new map of black America must be drawn.

Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Chicago and Detroit -- cities blacks once considered the promised land -- are now seeing more blacks moving out than moving in. As part of this shift, the overall black population in Los Angeles County and the Bay Area has dropped for the first time in 70 years.

Between 1990 and 2000, the black population in the San Francisco- Oakland-San Jose area dropped from 537,753 to 513,561, according to census data analyzed in the Brookings study.

The new migratory pattern reflects the ascendancy of Latinos and Asians.

"We came out to California to find gold and many of us found it," said Noella Buchanan, a pastor at the Community African Methodist Episcopal Church in Corona, east of Los Angeles. "But when it's time to retire, there's this desire to go back home. Even the children who grew up in California are feeling the pull. They're heading off to black colleges in Atlanta and North Carolina and staying there.

"Let's face it. Everything is crazy here. The traffic is crazy, the housing prices are crazy. They're finding a slower pace of life in the South. Out here, we're the forgotten minority. Back there, we're the chosen minority."

The migration of blacks out of California, a trend that began more than a decade ago, is growing as more blacks from every socioeconomic class seek a better life in Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, Texas and Tennessee.

California ranked just behind New York as the state experiencing the largest net loss -- 63,180 -- in black migration from 1995 to 2000, the study found. More than half of that loss took place in the Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange counties region. The net loss of black migrants in New York was 165,366; in Illinois, 55,238; and in New Jersey, 34,682.

Although blacks throughout the country are moving to Atlanta; Dallas; Houston; Charlotte, N.C.; Memphis, Tenn.; and Orlando, Fla., blacks in California are also choosing to relocate to a new Western dream: Las Vegas.

"My wife and I live in a house with 3,000 square feet, a nice yard, nice patio, nice pool, nice neighborhood, right next door to a Mormon bishop," said Martin Bauchman, a 75-year-old Las Vegas newcomer.

He left his native Oklahoma in 1950 and moved to South-Central Los Angeles. Two years ago, he pulled up stakes and moved to the boomtown in the desert.

"My back yard is even big enough that I got some tomatoes and peppers and a few carrots," he said chuckling. "I just saw Gladys Knight perform at the Flamingo down the street. It's a pretty good life."

For the better part of a century, California served as a major magnet for black families escaping the despair of the Southern sharecropper system and the recessions of the industrial Midwest and Northeast. And Los Angeles represented the bright star of black life in the West, a center for its literature, entertainment, political power and social progress.

"I think it's a new day. The population shift and trends are far too great for Los Angeles to remain the Western mecca of black political power and culture," said James Johnson, a business demographics professor at the University of North Carolina who wrote one of the first studies of blacks leaving Los Angeles in the 1990s. "Los Angeles will still have a strong black community, but it won't be like it was."

The reverse population flow has two faces. Young blacks are following job or college opportunities and planting roots in the same Southern soil that their parents and grandparents fled more than half a century ago. At the same time, blacks who spent their working lives in California are looking to retire in a new South where Atlanta has emerged as the major black metropolis.

For young and old, the push and pull factors are often the same: cheaper housing, slower pace of life, less traffic, fewer gangs and a longing to return to the South, a region no longer seen as supporting the flagrant racism that helped fuel the Great Migration.

"They are following networks back to the South, but they are also following the job opportunities," said William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution who wrote the report, "The New Great Migration: Black Americans Return to the South." Available at: http://www.brookings.edu/urban/pubs/20040524_Frey.pdf
 

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http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/03/n...1477faf3c9566f&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

An accelerating exodus of American-born blacks, coupled with slight declines in birthrates and a slowing influx of Caribbean and African immigrants, have produced a decline in New York City's black population for the first time since the draft riots during the Civil War, according to preliminary census estimates.

An analysis of the latest figures, which show the city with 30,000 fewer black residents in 2004 than in 2000, also revealed stark contrasts in the migration patterns of blacks and whites.

While white New Yorkers are still more likely than blacks to leave the city, they are also more likely to relocate to the nearby suburbs (which is where half the whites move) or elsewhere in the Northeast, or to scatter to other cities and retirement communities across the country. Moreover, New York remains a magnet for whites from most other states.

In contrast, 7 in 10 black people who are moving leave the region altogether. And, unlike black migrants from Chicago, Philadelphia and Detroit, most of them go to the South, especially to Florida, the Carolinas and Georgia. The rest move to states like California, Ohio, Illinois and Michigan with large black populations.

Also, New York has a net loss of blacks to all but five states, and those net gains are minuscule.

"This suggests that the black movement out of New York City is much more of an evacuation than the movement for whites," said William Frey, a demographer for the Brookings Institution, who analyzed migration patterns for The New York Times.

The implications for a city of 8.2 million people could be profound. If the trend continues, not only will the black share of New York's population, which dipped below 25 percent in 2000, continue to decline, particularly if the overall population grows, but a higher proportion of black New Yorkers will be foreign-born or the children of immigrants.

Many blacks are leaving for economic reasons. Jacqueline Dowdell moved to North Carolina last year from Hamilton Heights in Upper Manhattan in search of a lower cost of living. Once an editor at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, she now works as a communications coordinator for a health care company in Chapel Hill.

"It was a difficult decision, but it was a financial decision," said Ms. Dowdell, 39, adding that the move also gave her time to research her family's roots in Virginia.

"I just continued to spend so much money trying to live without thinking about the future," she said. "I was focused on surviving, and I wanted to make a commitment to more quality of life."

The analysis of migration from 1995 to 2000 also suggests that many blacks, already struggling with high housing costs in New York City, are being priced out of nearby suburbs, too.

Among black married couples with children, only about one in three who left the city moved to nearby suburbs, compared with two in three white married couples with children. More black married couples with children moved to the South than to the suburbs.

Over all, more black residents who left New York City moved to Florida than to New Jersey.

But black residents who left the city were more likely to remain in the region if they had higher incomes and were college educated. And while black migrants to the South include some aspiring professionals, a larger share were lower income, less educated and elderly.

"All this suggests that New York City out-migration of blacks is unique in its scope — net losses to most states — and pattern — especially destined to the South," Dr. Frey said.

Reversing a tide from the South who altered the complexion of the city earlier in the 20th century, the number of American-born blacks leaving the city has exceeded the number arriving since at least the late 1970's.

"You have older people who leave the North just to go back to a place that is kind of slower, or where they grew up or went on vacation when they were younger — and when you retire, your money doesn't go very far in New York," said Sylviane A. Diouf, a historian and researcher at the Schomburg Center and co-author of a study of black migration. "You also have young college-educated people who find that the South has lots of economic potential and a lower cost of living."
 

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Interesting read. Most of my relatives have moved to Houston from St. Louis. They didnt move from Cali or NY but its still a move to the south.
 

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i can relate to this, cuz my grandmother's sister and her aunt both with grandchildren came back home to Alabama from Los Angeles and Compton. So it's no surprise to me, The South is secretly the African-American Underground Nation.
 

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I have to wonder... do you think in the future the many whites who have moved and are moving south (although apparently not as many as blacks) will home "home" to the North? You might say "not a chance" now, but the blacks were saying the same thing for decades.
 

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^Then the U.S. will become segregated again. A Civil War will break out, and blah, blah, blah.

History repeats itself, right?
 

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I don't think so. It's not like ALL the black people are heading south, and it's not like ALL of the transplants would move back north.
 

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I think in the end, there will be more of a balancing effect, where the migration rates for different areas of the nation will be more or less the same.
 

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I would say probabily because of the property around the city are getting hotter and therefore expensive. But saying black americans leaving the whole states like Cali, NY and IL is just crazy! It is their will, heck, what can you do? :)
 

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People are missing the obvious. Not only are blacks moving to the west and South..Whites are too, probably in greater numbers..Im not buying the whole "I want to get back to my roots" gimmick. Blacks are also going to places like Vegas and Arizona in large numbers just like whites are. These areas are economically booming right now and have favorable temperatures, not to mention that Georgia and Florida has always been good retirement areas regardless of race. For example Columbus Oh is one of the top cities of net in-migration of blacks and thats in "The North", Minnesota and Indianapolis are also gaining a respectable amount of blacks. This really has more to do with economic opportunity than anything else.
 

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CT has a net loss of Blacks, but it is minimal compared to New York. Many black people come here from New York, and immigration and births keep the black population growing. Hartford especially is minimal, most blacks here move to the suburbs.

What should be more of a problem is the continous loss of White people of the state (the state lost 100k in the 1990s) but that really isn't anything new.
 

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Gambit said:
People are missing the obvious. Not only are blacks moving to the west and South..Whites are too, probably in greater numbers..Im not buying the whole "I want to get back to my roots" gimmick. Blacks are also going to places like Vegas and Arizona in large numbers just like whites are. These areas are economically booming right now and have favorable temperatures, not to mention that Georgia and Florida has always been good retirement areas regardless of race. For example Columbus Oh is one of the top cities of net in-migration of blacks and thats in "The North", Minnesota and Indianapolis are also gaining a respectable amount of blacks. This really has more to do with economic opportunity than anything else.
Pretty much... If something happens to put an end to the suburban "lifestyle" such as a long-term fuel shortage then ALL people will go flooding into wherever there's work, be it city country or wherever.
 

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The black population in Indy is now approaching 250,000 and has been growing since the 1920's. Blacks have been coming to cities like Indy, Columbus and cities like Atlanta, Dallas, Charlotte because of the cheap cost of living.
I'm not buying that back to the roots shit either. My entire family (well most of us) have been coming to Chicago from the South since the 1950's and none of us are flocking back south. In the end, I believe that wherever its cheaper to live, and where opportunites prevail, thats where people will move.
 

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UWMilwaukeeJay said:
Mexicans American's are argueably doing the oppisite
Mexicans are a much larger and much faster growing population, lots of mexicans leave Texas for other areas but plenty are still immigrating and deciding to stay. If current trends stay the same I think they will eventually outgrow whites in Texas.
 

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Well I actually DO believe that part of it is due to closer cultural and kinship ties that Black Americans have with the South. For one, Blacks are way more likely to relocate to the South than Whites. Almost half of Blacks relocating to the South from NYC between 1995-2000 were Black compared with only 20% of Whites. Also, Blacks from all other regions of the country were more likely to relocate to the South than Whites during the same period. Also, I don't think it's by happenstance that the top choice for relocation for Blacks was Atlanta, a city that not only rose to economic prominence in the South, but was also very progressive in terms of racial relations. Overall I do think the economic factor is the primary one here, but I also believe it DOES have something to do with cultural and kinship ties as well.

As one article demonstrates:

Annie Barksdale was born in Williamston, N.C., in the sparsely developed northeastern region of the state. She moved and spent 37 years in Stamford, Conn. Then she came home.

"Once you get to a certain age, you sort of want to go back to your roots," says Barksdale, 57, who moved back with her husband Eugene, 61, a disabled Vietnam veteran. One son is in the Air Force, the other in New Jersey.

Their town house in Stamford had doubled in value in five years. They sold it in 2003 and renovated and expanded a family property in Williamston from 700 to 1,544 square feet.

"More so than whites, black seniors will be influenced by family ties and Southern culture in the choice of retiree destination," Frey says. "More recently, their adult children have moved to the South's booming labor market. Many of these seniors have been counting the months until they can escape the ice and snow of New York, Chicago and Detroit, to return to their family roots."
 

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I find this all fascinating. Chicago, New York City and Los Angeles in 30 years may look like Miami today - Latinos form a solid majority because the black and white populations moved to the suburbs, and if you cannot speak Spanish it is difficult to find work in the city. It would speak volumes about America's greater openness to immigration if the nation's three largest cities were teeming with Spanish-speakers.
 
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