SkyscraperCity banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Buzz Clip | Article
In a Reverse Migration, Blacks Head to New South
May 24, 2004

Email To A Friend
Printer Friendly


Mark Arax
Los Angeles Times


"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 — have been 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 dropped for the first time in 70 years."

Click here for fullstory >>
I'm a black man and I'm moving to the south so I saw this article and wanted to post it because it's the reverse of the great migration.
feel free to comment on it especially my fellow brothas and sistas.
 

·
Shaken, never Stirred
Joined
·
8,014 Posts
^ There was a thread about this..... Shocking Blacks are leaving LA. My Bud Jerod better not go back!!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Heres another article on this subject.

',728,90,-99473,166174,'1','321',1,-1,'');}else{setTimeout('if(document.pradi1){document.pradi1.onload()}',200);}">























Blacks see Deep South as destination

Newcomers not worried by town's turbulent past

By Steve Schmidt
STAFF WRITER

January 3, 2005



EARNIE GRAFTON / Union-Tribune
Larcener Williams of El Cajon took the final walk-through of her new house in Grenada, Miss., in November.


GRENADA, Miss. – Drive around this former Confederate town long enough and you'll spy patches of heaven – emerald hills, church steeples, skinny loblolly pines.

But for so long, for many blacks, Grenada seemed godforsaken.

So Charles Latham left in 1972.

He fled the racially divided town and joined the Marine Corps. He married another former Mississippian. Now both 51 years old, the Lathams have lived in San Diego nearly 30 years.



Advertisement



Last week, though, they climbed into their Suburban and steered toward the rising sun.
Charles Latham is heading home, back to Grenada. The place he fled is the place he longs to be again. "I'm counting the days," he said recently.

For decades, blacks left the South in droves, heading north or west to stake out a better life. Now the great migration has shifted into reverse.

Today, more blacks are leaving such urban locations in California than are moving in, according to a recent study by the Brookings Institution, a nonpartisan Washington think tank.

Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego once ranked among the top metropolitan magnets for migrating blacks. No more. Since the mid-1990s, the three cities have seen a net loss of blacks, according to Brookings demographers.

Blacks make up 7.2 percent of San Diego's population, down from 8.9 percent in 1990, U.S. census figures show.

While some urban blacks are heading to the suburbs and neighboring states, many are making a beeline to Atlanta and other parts of the once-segregated South.

"They're going home," said San Diego real estate agent Kathy Davis, who works with many African-American families.

Some are landing in Grenada, a flash point during the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Longtime San Diegan Eckles McCorkle moved to Grenada in 2003. Larcener Williams of El Cajon is heading there later this winter.

Charles Latham and his wife, Dorothy, are building their retirement home in Grenada.

Going home won't be simple, however.

They'll see the loblollies and the steeples again. They'll hear the ragged timbre of crickets. After years in Southern California, life can only be cheaper, slower, quieter.

But they must also get their footing in a Deep South community still at odds with itself.





Before leaving California, the Lathams squeezed a bit of gold out of the Golden State.

They recently sold their three-bedroom house in Valencia Park for $400,000. It was a bonanza – the couple bought it for $75,000 in the mid-1980s.

"It's our lottery ticket, to tell you the truth," Charles Latham said.

Meanwhile, a construction crew is finishing his dream home on the edge of the Mississippi wilderness, next to a stand of aspens. His mother and grandmother live nearby. The house has four bedrooms, three fireplaces and encompasses 4,200 square feet.

The cost: $155,000.

Aggravated with urban living, others are blazing the same path. Suburban Seattle, small-town Idaho and other northern areas are swamped with former Californians.

The exodus also has taken on a Southern flavor as blacks of varying socioeconomic levels return to their rural beginnings outside California, demographers say. Others are heading to the South for the first time.

There are 93,300 blacks in San Diego, compared with 98,800 in 1990, according to the San Diego Association of Governments. Countywide, the percentage of blacks in the population declined to 5.7 percent in 2000 from 6.3 percent a decade earlier.

Charles Latham was born and raised in Grenada, a few miles from land his ancestors worked as slaves. Dorothy Latham grew up in a another part of Mississippi.

They raised two children in San Diego and did government work for decades. Charles was a government auditor at the 32nd Street Naval Station. Dorothy ran a mail center for San Diego County.

They're excited about retiring and heading home. "It's smog-free there and the crime is lower," Dorothy Latham said. "I'll hear the bugs and the bees, not the cars and the gunshots."

Their son, 18-year-old Charles Latham II, is moving to Grenada, too, but the native Californian isn't sure he'll like it. The closest big city is a two-hour drive away.

"I'm really used to San Diego," he said.

The Latham family has visited rural Mississippi enough in recent years to know life there is still slow. And, in some quarters, racial tensions simmer.

Legal segregation is gone, though. Grenada has its first black mayor. Whites and blacks mix easily at the town's retail hub, the Wal-Mart Supercenter.

Still, "there's a lot of ill will," said George Mullen Jr., who is white and a member of the Grenada City Council.

"We're having trouble moving ahead."






After 20 years in San Diego, Eckles McCorkle returned to his hometown of Grenada more than a year ago.

"It was the best thing I've ever done," said McCorkle, who is black.

He retired from his job as a woodworker for the Navy and bought an acre on the edge of town. He's got a home with three bedrooms and a lawn the size of a baseball field.

"I got to sell my little bitty matchbox in San Diego for a lot of money and come here and buy a palace for a little money," he said. He also bought eight rental properties.

He's 53, single and happily unhurried.

"There's not much activity around here," he said, smiling. "You've got to learn how to twiddle your thumbs."

Founded on the Fourth of July 1836, Grenada sits on the hilly edge of the Mississippi Delta. A river cuts through town, near the wooded site of a Confederate Army fort.

This being the South, the area has a rich history of names and characters. Poindexter Harble. Bilbo Shields. Suggs Ingram. Muffet Lee McPhail.

There's no Starbucks, but there's Boo's Deli. There's no Costco, but there's Hambone's Corner Grocery. There's no ocean nearby, but there's a reservoir with some of the best crappie fishing in the region.

About 14,900 people live in Grenada. It has broad streets and brick houses with wide porches. A marble statue of a Confederate soldier stands in the town square.

In 1966, hundreds of blacks staged nightly marches to the square, protesting racial segregation in the town movie house, swimming pool and other public places.

White racists answered with slingshots and iron pipes, often injuring those they considered uppity.

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. came to town that year, urging blacks to stay peaceful and persistent.

Charles Latham recalls shaking King's hand. Latham was 13 at the time. McCorkle was 15. Both helped integrate Grenada's public high school.

Latham recalls the enraged faces of the white racists and how he steeled himself not to be afraid. "It was a scary time, but I didn't think about it," he said.

He joined the Marines as soon as he turned 18.

McCorkle joined the Air Force about the same time.

He says he hasn't run into outright racism since coming back.

Joe Lee III, publisher of the city's newspaper, says Grenada has made major strides since the 1960s. He notes, however, that many blacks live in poverty.

"We need a larger black middle class," said Lee, who is white.

According to census figures, Grenada is 49.3 percent white and 49.3 percent black. The split has fueled a power struggle in City Hall.

More than once, both black and white elected officials have tried to gerrymander the city's boundaries to give their respective races political advantage. There are four blacks and three whites on the City Council.

When black officials tried to redraw the boundaries a few years ago, Lee blasted the move in a newspaper column.

"Black racism is no improvement over white racism," he wrote in Grenada's Daily Star.

Mayor Dianna Freelon-Foster bristles at such talk. Elected in 2004, she is Grenada's first black and woman mayor.

She says genuine economic and political freedom continue to elude many Grenada blacks. Many young African-Americans go straight to state prison from high school, she complains. One of five residents live in poverty and most of those are black.

She says the city, in many ways, is still under the thumb of racists bent on protecting the status quo.

Freelon-Foster's unvarnished opinions have offended some in town, but she makes no apologies.

"I don't believe that when whites are in control that they are going to look out for the rest of us," said the 53-year-old Grenada native. "History tells us that."






Larcener Williams of El Cajon is so eager to leave Southern California she recently picked out a house in Grenada, sight unseen.

Her real estate agent sent an e-mail that contained a few photographs and told her it was a sweet place. Four bedrooms. A broad porch. In a cul-de-sac. Three years old. Only $163,000.

When she saw it last month, and was ready to sign the paperwork to buy it, she couldn't stop grinning.

"I like it. I like it a lot," she said. "I feel real good all in my spirit about it."

Williams, 57, has lived in San Diego County nearly six years. She's about to retire as a computer specialist with the Department of Defense.

She has a three-bedroom condominium, but has never felt comfortable in the region. "I've always felt pretty much alone," Williams said.

She was born and raised in California, but her parents came from the South. When she recently decided to retire and move, her relatives suggested Grenada.

One of her new neighbors is a preacher. A deeply religious woman, Williams feels at home already. "I believe it's gonna be fun," she said. "A new life."

She's moving by the end of February.

The mayor is glad to hear it. Freelon-Foster says Grenada needs new faces. They offer wisdom and perspective from a world outside the Mississippi Delta, she says.

"They can come in and see things differently," the mayor said. "I think they can help us heal."

Charles Latham wants to do his part. He's eager to volunteer at City Hall and in the community. He knows his boyhood town remains divided and needs help.

"I know what it's like," he said. "And I'm still going back."



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Steve Schmidt: (619) 293-1380; [email protected]
 

·
Silver Lake
Joined
·
5,451 Posts
Thanx for the article. I think we've talked about this before, so I really don't know what else to say.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Heres the whole article.
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 2,306


In a Reverse Migration, Blacks Head to New South

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In a Reverse Migration, Blacks Head to New South
California, other regions lose African Americans feeling the pull of 'home' and a slower pace.



By Mark Arax, Times Staff Writer


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 — have been 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 dropped for the first time in 70 years.

The new migratory pattern reflects the ascendancy of Latinos and Asians and provides another sign that the high-water days of black community power — when Los Angeles boasted a black mayor for two decades — may be over.

"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. "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 out of California, a trend that began more than a decade ago, has grown as 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. Transplants from California sit in the pews of three AME churches in Las Vegas and swap golfing and gardening tales with their old neighbors from Watts, Compton and Pomona.

"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.

His migration tells the story of black America in the post-World War II years. He left his native Oklahoma in 1950, moved to South-Central Los Angeles and spent the next 50 years working his way up from prison guard to assistant manager in the state Department of Education. Two years ago, he pulled up stakes and moved to the boomtown in the desert.

"My backyard 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."

"Atlanta is the No. 1 choice, followed by Dallas and Charlotte. The black migration from California to Nevada is an extension of an already eastward movement. They've gone from Watts to Riverside, and now they're jumping over to Las Vegas."

Richard and Carol Gordon, both schoolteachers, raised their eight children to be Californians through-and-through. The South — Alabama on his side, Mississippi on hers — was a piece of lore. He had grown up in Watts, moved to Santa Ana after the 1965 riots and then to Lake Elsinore a decade later.

Out in the suburbs of Riverside County, the children found themselves immersed in white culture. "I think my children made up half of the black population at Elsinore High School," Carol Gordon said.

She grew up the daughter of a preacher whose travels took the family from California to Louisiana and back again. It was in New Orleans that she got her first taste of traditional black culture. She wanted the same for her children. So when it came time for them to pick a college — UCLA or one of the historically black schools — she practically insisted on the latter.

Daughter April Gordon Dawson was the first to go, boarding a bus to Greensboro, N.C., in 1984 to attend Bennett College, an all-black school for women. She married a native of North Carolina and decided to stay. She and her husband, both attorneys, have their own practice.

Her reverse migration set a path for her siblings. Four brothers and sisters followed in the 1980s and 1990s, graduating from North Carolina A&T, Florida A&M and Spelman College in Atlanta.

Mari Gordon Mitchell, the youngest, became the last child to leave California, in 1995. "I had always planned on going to college in California, but when I went to April's graduation, it was so exciting to be around that many educated black women. I decided right then I was going to do the same."

In the end, Mari chose Spelman because it offered more scholarship money and sat amid five other black colleges. "We had so many students from California that we used to have all-California parties," she said.

She and her husband, DeMarco Mitchell, who grew up in Georgia, are raising their three children in a mostly black neighborhood outside Atlanta. He teaches math at a middle school in the inner city and she teaches science. "The black community and culture is a lot more cohesive in Atlanta and, plus, it's a lot cheaper here," she said.

For the first time, U.S. Census figures show, the black population in Los Angeles County waned, dropping from 934,776 in 1990 to 901,472 in 2000. Over the same period, 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 Sacramento-Yolo counties region was the only one in California that showed a modest net gain in black migration.

In the state as a whole, the population rise among blacks dropped from a 50% growth rate in the 1960s to a 2.5% growth rate in the 1990s — far slower than Asians and Latinos. The loss of young black migrants was a factor in this drop.

"Los Angeles is still a very vibrant city for all ethnic groups," said J. Eugene Grigsby, the longtime urban planner at UCLA who now heads the National Health Foundation. "The challenge for African Americans is they have gone from being the No. 1 minority to the No. 3, and that trend will never reverse. Maneuvering through a multiethnic Los Angeles is something they're going to have to learn."

Like a lot of black retirees, LaCharles McCoy found nothing holding him to Carson once his job fixing diesel oil tanks was over. He looked at houses in Hemet and Las Vegas, but nothing came close to the bargain he found in his native Texas.

In March, he and his wife, Glenda, moved into a four-bedroom, three-bathroom house along a golf course in the Houston suburbs. Three weeks ago, his daughter and two grandchildren joined them.

"You know the kind of house that people have in Palos Verdes and Newport Beach, well, we've got that kind of house — and more," he said. "We're the only blacks in the entire subdivision. The white folks have gone out of their way to make us feel welcome. It's a new Texas
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
404 Posts
i'm NEVER leaving the West. or hopefully LA for that matter. Unlike most black people, I don't feel most confortable in the midst of a lot of black people. I like it when its diverse, a mix of everything. I'd rather live in a very urban neighborhood thats diverse.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
CarsonCaliBrotha said:
i'm NEVER leaving the West. or hopefully LA for that matter. Unlike most black people, I don't feel most confortable in the midst of a lot of black people. I like it when its diverse, a mix of everything. I'd rather live in a very urban neighborhood thats diverse.
It's what you feel more confortable with as for me I rather live in a city where I see blacks doing well and helping others get to that level like an Atlanta where I live or a Jacksonville Florida but Houston is diverse but at least you have some black progression I'm selling my home in LA because I can't stand the lack of progression in the black community. Sure being in the music business has it's advantage but the Atl is more better for me I juts love the progression of blacks in the south than in the west where many of us who have money have left and I feel for my poor brothas and sistas thats still there because I see them really struggling and sadly the gang situation don't really help either it seems like in LA the gangs run the city in the black community but thats the lack of progression.
 

·
Shaken, never Stirred
Joined
·
8,014 Posts
soulbro said:
It's what you feel more confortable with as for me I rather live in a city where I see blacks doing well and helping others get to that level like an Atlanta where I live or a Jacksonville Florida but Houston is diverse but at least you have some black progression I'm selling my home in LA because I can't stand the lack of progression in the black community. Sure being in the music business has it's advantage but the Atl is more better for me I juts love the progression of blacks in the south than in the west where many of us who have money have left and I feel for my poor brothas and sistas thats still there because I see them really struggling and sadly the gang situation don't really help either it seems like in LA the gangs run the city in the black community but thats the lack of progression.

^ :fiddle: :fiddle: :fiddle: yea, yea, yea we heard it before.................
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top