Washington, D.C. was the first majority-black city in the U.S. and it stayed that way for decades, from 1970 to 2015. Now the African-American population in the nation’s capital is somewhere around 48 percent, according to the latest Census data.
Similar demographic changes have happened in places nicknamed “chocolate cities” — like Atlanta, Oakland, New Orleans — as the effects of investment, revitalization and gentrification play out in neighborhoods with historically large black populations.
When long-time residents from these areas leave or are forced out economically, what do they take with them? Can the culture of a chocolate city — its heritage and its heart — remain when its black residents have moved on?
Marcus Hunter, African American studies chair, University of California, Los Angeles; co-author, “Chocolate Cities: The Black Map of American Life”; @manthonyhunter
Zandria Robinson, Assistant professor of sociology, Rhodes College; co-author, “Chocolate Cities: The Black Map of American Life”; @zfelice
Dan Kalb, Oakland City Councilmember; @DanKalb
Andre Johnson, Founder and lead guitarist for the band Rare Essence; @rewickedestband
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