Thursday, July 17, 2014

Al Jazeera on the divided DC

In late 2010, Al Jazeera began showing the half-hour long There goes the neighbourhood.   The program is summarized this way: "A black family may occupy its most important residence, but Washington DC's African American population is in decline."

The backstory:

As demographic data from the 2010 census starts to come in, it will show a startling trend - cities that have long been the African American capitals of the US are undergoing drastic change. On the south side of Chicago, in New York's Harlem, across New Orleans and in Washington DC, the black population is in rapid decline.

The numbers are particularly startling in Washington, DC - a city that was once so thoroughly black it gained the name "Chocolate City". In 1970, blacks made up over 70 per cent of the district's population. Things have changed. In this decade, over 27,000 blacks left the city, and around 40,000 whites moved in. Today, African Americans represent less than 54 per cent of the population and demographers predict they will be a minority in the next five to 10 years.

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