[QODLink]
Programmes
There goes the neighbourhood
A black family may occupy its most important residence, but Washington DC's African American population is in decline.
Last Modified: 12 Nov 2010 18:36 GMT

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.

The most common explanation for the displacement is gentrification, and the rising cost of living that comes with the new, generally white, population.

"There's evidence everywhere you go in DC that DC is becoming richer and whiter," says Sabiyha Prince, an anthropology professor at American University.

Even as a black family occupies the most important residence in DC for the first time in history, "Chocolate City" is having an identity crisis.

Al Jazeera goes to the neighbourhoods of the nation's capital where long time black Washingtonians question their future in a city with centuries of rich African American past.

There goes the neighbourhood airs from Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at the following times GMT: Tuesday: 0600, 1930; Wednesday: 1430; Thursday: 0030; Friday: 0830; Saturday: 2330.

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
NSA whistleblower Snowden and journalist Greenwald accuse Wellington of mass spying on New Zealanders.
Whatever the referendum's outcome, energy created by the grassroots independence campaign has changed Scottish politics.
Traders and farmers struggle to cope as restrictions on travel prevent them from doing business and attending to crops.
Unique mobile messaging service, mMitra, helps poor pregnant women in Mumbai fight against maternal mortality.
Influential independence figure has been key in promoting Scottish nationalism, but will his efforts succeed?
join our mailing list