Black Flight or White Gentrification?

The Wall Street Journal reports that middle-class African-Americans are leaving America's major cities in droves, leaving remaining African-American cultural and religious institutions struggling to adjust to this new demographic reality.

"For much of the 20th century, the proportion of whites shrank in most U.S. cities. In recent years the decline has slowed considerably -- and in some significant cases has reversed."

This article discusses the apparent reversal of a half-century trend of "white flight" from the urban cores of America's cities. White professionals are moving into cities, while middle-class African-Americans are choosing to move into surrounding suburbs. The cultural and religious institutions that these communities left behind are struggling to redefine their purpose in this changing demographic environment.

"Demographic readjustments can take decades to play out. But if current trends continue, Washington and Atlanta (both with black majorities) will in the next decade see African-Americans fall below 50% for the first time in about a half-century."

"Sherri Young, executive director at the African-American Shakespeare Company in San Francisco, is one of the few blacks at her theater company who still lives in San Francisco. "I'm a single woman in my late 30s," Ms. Young says. "Culturally, it's difficult."

Full Story: The End of White Flight

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