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Black residents flocking to City's suburbs

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http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/ult.../main/race.html

Apparently this is a growing trend. And I'm beginning to see it first hand; My aunt and uncle are looking for a house on the southside and told me that North Fayette is becoming increasingly black. Those of you who are familiar with Fayette county might be surprised by this as I was. It's also happeing in Cobb county, as you can see in the article. How do you think this will effect demographics in metro Atlanta?

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Fayette County is as surburban as you can get. The Fayette Pavillion (a huge strip-mall) is so strip-mall-anti-pedestrian-drive-from-walmart-to-target-to-everything-else-ish.

I have noticed this, I was surprised you weren't speaking about Clayton County.

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Apparently these are Black families, and I think that it is a trend that has been occurring for a while now. When my uncle and his wife first moved into the area at least 10 years ago, he started out in Decatur, then to Ellenwood (Henry County), now he's in Conyers. However, I think young Black singles ("buppies") are beginning to move into the city. A few friends of mine who live in the Atlanta metro area (all Black) have commented that they plan to move into the city in the near future.

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Ellenwood is now a majority black population. many people from decatur are making the short move

I don't know anything about Ellenwood. I do know the rap group, Crime Mob made a song about its namesake. They sure make Ellenwood seem like a place most people wouldn't or shouldn't go.

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I don't know anything about Ellenwood. I do know the rap group, Crime Mob made a song about its namesake. They sure make Ellenwood seem like a place most people wouldn't or shouldn't go.

Yeah isn't Crime Mob some gangster rap outfit? I recall a recent article in the AJC where an innocent guy got shot and killed by thugs who were driving around listening to one of Crime Mob's albums. They said that a song "inspired" them to do it.

Anyway, I digress.

So blacks are moving to the burbs. I say its about dang time because they'll have it way better in the suburbs than they ever did in Atlanta. Better schools. Less crime. I just hope that the poor schools/crime doesn't follow them. The door is wide open, just don't bring any of that crap with you when you come.

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You can definatly notice the change at the Fayette Pavillion over the past 5 years or so. Parts of Fayetteville south of the Pavillion are becoming more diverse as well.

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Yeah isn't Crime Mob some gangster rap outfit? I recall a recent article in the AJC where an innocent guy got shot and killed by thugs who were driving around listening to one of Crime Mob's albums. They said that a song "inspired" them to do it.

Anyway, I digress.

So blacks are moving to the burbs. I say its about dang time because they'll have it way better in the suburbs than they ever did in Atlanta. Better schools. Less crime. I just hope that the poor schools/crime doesn't follow them. The door is wide open, just don't bring any of that crap with you when you come.

Though I am not black, I understood that Mays High School was the most affluent and ranked higher academically than any predominantly black school in Georgia. Mays also, I know for a fact, is one of the wealthiest public schools as far as the social and finacial classes of the parents in the state. Mays High School is in the city. In fact that area of Cascade is one of the more exclusive areas in the metropolitan area.

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^^According to my limited knowledge of Atlanta, isn't the Cascade Road corridor like the black "Buckhead" in terms of history and wealth i.e. "old" money? And, there seems to be a good amount of new upscale residential development going on in that area, too.

One of my frat brother's mom moved from south Dekalb into Henry. He called it Ellenwood, even though I'm not sure it's the true Ellenwood. That neighborhood is definately upscale.

DeKalb County is similar to DC's Prince George's County in terms of it's large population of black middle class and proximity to the central city. Clayton County doesn't seem quite as affluent as DeKalb. Speaking of Prince George's, they seem to be having a crime problem as of late, due to a poorer residents moving into the county from being displaced out of DC (unfortunately bringing with them a criminal element). Doesn't sound like Atlanta has it quite like DC, but DeKalb should take note.

Personally, I think Class will soon become a big political issue in the black community, as the black suburbs could become hostile to "affordable" housing as some other suburbs for fear of crime and negative economic effects.

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^^According to my limited knowledge of Atlanta, isn't the Cascade Road corridor like the black "Buckhead" in terms of history and wealth i.e. "old" money?

Cascade's got some gorgeous homes and is a really classy neighborhood.

However, if you want to understand how totally skewed Atlanta is on the high end, go to www.realtor.com, and search by zip code. Plug in 30331 (which is Cascade) in the "Zip/Postal Code" box near the top right of the page. Click "More Search Options", which will take you to the next page. Set the minimum price at $1,000,000, and then scroll to the bottom and click "Add Nearby Areas". On the next page click "Select All" and then click "Show Properties." See how many houses you come up with in the Cascade area.

Then try the search using zip code 30305 (one of Buckhead's zip codes), and again click "Add Nearby Areas" and set the minimum price at $1,000,000.

:huh:

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Andrea, try 30327.....that zip has no equal in most of the southeast.....you have to go down to south Florida before it is rivaled.

Anyway, I think people call the Cascade area the "black Buckhead" because it does have very old money along the Cascade corridor. I would say the most affluence is probably outside of I-285. While there isn't a large category of million dollar homes, compared to other cities, the area is quite impressive. Very few cities in the country has such a broad and affluent African-American area.....I think Los Angeles has two neighborhoods and of course Prince Georges County, MD.

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True, Celeste. I suggested 30305 and "Add Nearby" because it is sort of in the middle.

I agree with you about Cascade. Atlanta does have many affluent African-Americans, and I'm glad to see that they are increasingly living wherever they want to.

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Interesting, Andrea, but expected. Even though the number of million dollar homes in Cascade is nowhere near that of Buckhead, it's still quite impressive that an area like Cascade even exists. Most cities don't have any traditionally, historically upscale neighborhoods for blacks -- maybe a block or two, but not entire neighborhoods.

I like your last statement, though. It's good that Cascade isn't the only place they can stay. What are your thoughts on blacks in DeKalb County?

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Interesting, Andrea, but expected. Even though the number of million dollar homes in Cascade is nowhere near that of Buckhead, it's still quite impressive that an area like Cascade even exists. Most cities don't have any traditionally, historically upscale neighborhoods for blacks -- maybe a block or two, but not entire neighborhoods.

Oh yeah, Jahi. I'm certainly not making the comparison to put Cascade down -- quite the contrary. I mention the disparity only to note how skewed the housing patterns in Atlanta are. It's hardly surprising. Up through the 1920's the city was officially zoned by race. Roads, urban renewal, redlining, intimidation and economics were also used to reinforce those barriers. In the 1960's, Ivan Allen erected concrete barricades on Peyton Road in an effort to physically bar blacks from entering what was then the white Cascade Heights neighborhood.

The fact that there are great neighborhoods like Cascade doesn't mean Atlanta is "over" racism or that it isn't still highly segregated. As Dr. Robert Holmes points out in his talk called Deja Vu or Significant Change?, the segregation index is actually up from what it was in the sixties.

I like your last statement, though. It's good that Cascade isn't the only place they can stay. What are your thoughts on blacks in DeKalb County?

Well, I'm not sure what you mean. Why should DeKalb be different for a person of color than for anyone else?

I'm also uncomfortable with your suggestion that Cascade is (or is not) "the only place they can stay." It may be unintentional, but in that context "they" implies an othering I can't accept. Your phraseology also implies (to me, at least) an assumption that blacks need permission or approval to choose a residence. I can't imagine anyone saying of whites, "It's good that Alpharetta isn't the only place they can stay."

What are your thoughts on blacks in DeKalb County? Do you see a problem there?

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I apologize. That was an incomplete thought. I was referencing the former practice of redlining that largely kept blacks of all income levels concentrated in certain neighborhoods. Of course this was a national thing, and not just in ATL, but it's probably a big reason why Cascade even exists. It's good that a black family of means moving to Cascade is doing so by choice, and not by "force".

Also, what I meant about DeKalb County is that it seems that it's not only becoming a majority black county, but it's by and large populated by black middle and upper-class households. How has the changing racial demographic affected the perception of DeKalb, particularly south Dekalb? How has it affected the way the county is developing? Is the northern (whiter) half more favored for development than the southern (blacker) half? How is Dekalb County viewed as opposed to Clayton County? For instance, in my opinion DeKalb seems more affluent than Clayton, even though they both are suburban with large black populations.

I also read an interesting article today about the residents of a Lithonia neighborhood strongly opposing a townhouse development, that they view as potentially becoming Section 8 housing. This speaks to my question about the politics of black suburbs and if they are becoming just as hostile to "affordable" housing as some of their majority counterparts. http://www.ocgnews.com/Archives/Jan01/Sect...ityNews-Sec.htm

I hope this makes things more clear.

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Jahi, my apologies, too, I didn't mean to get all prickly. You make some great points and raise some excellent questions. I'd like to think about this and respond in more detail later. Have you by chance read Dr. Ronald Bayor's book, Race & the Shaping of Twentieth-Century Atlanta?

Thanks for your gracious reply.

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Also, what I meant about DeKalb County is that it seems that it's not only becoming a majority black county, but it's by and large populated by black middle and upper-class households. How has the changing racial demographic affected the perception of DeKalb, particularly south Dekalb? How has it affected the way the county is developing? Is the northern (whiter) half more favored for development than the southern (blacker) half? How is Dekalb County viewed as opposed to Clayton County? For instance, in my opinion DeKalb seems more affluent than Clayton, even though they both are suburban with large black populations.

For years South Dekalb was ignored by developers who favored the northern half. Growing up in Lithonia the differences were evident. If I wanted to go to the mall I had to go to Northlake, Perimeter, or to malls in Gwinnett Co. The nearest grocery store was not really convenient. Even the schools were different. Some of the northern schools were being closed or merged, due to low enrollment, but the schools in my area (Lithonia, Stone Mtn, and Decatur) were overcrowded. Even the high school that I attended had up to 20 trailers a year after it opened in 1996.

I always heard "talk" was that blacks would not support the resturants and a major mall before Stonecrest was built. As you can see, the success of Stonecrest kind of changed all that. There was been all kinds of growth in the area in the past 5 years.

From talking to different people, Dekalb is viewed as being more affluent. I really don't know much about all of Clayton Co. to make an opinion.

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For some reason developers like to avoid south Atlanta metro, right when you pass 675 on 75, it gets especially bare. But, of course that was 3 years ago when I was down on that end so who know how much change it has undergone.

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Also, what I meant about DeKalb County is that it seems that it's not only becoming a majority black county, but it's by and large populated by black middle and upper-class households. How has the changing racial demographic affected the perception of DeKalb, particularly south Dekalb? How has it affected the way the county is developing? Is the northern (whiter) half more favored for development than the southern (blacker) half? How is Dekalb County viewed as opposed to Clayton County? For instance, in my opinion DeKalb seems more affluent than Clayton, even though they both are suburban with large black populations.
I was thinking about this a little more and came to the conclusion that I really don't know enough to say much. I'd like to step back and listen to others who know more about it. [Edited to remove some speculations that I'm actually not sure about.]

I hope this makes things more clear.

It did, thank you.

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Jahi, my apologies, too, I didn't mean to get all prickly. You make some great points and raise some excellent questions. I'd like to think about this and respond in more detail later. Have you by chance read Dr. Ronald Bayor's book, Race & the Shaping of Twentieth-Century Atlanta?

Thanks for your gracious reply.

No, I haven't read that book yet. I think that was one of the books one of the teams had to read when I took History and Theory in Planning school, though. I might have to check that book out. Thanks for your response. The whole racial, economic and political dynamic of the Atlanta metro is very interesting to me.

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The whole racial, economic and political dynamic of the Atlanta metro is very interesting to me.

Yes, me, too! I kind of have the feeling that some of the forces that shaped things in the past are still alive and well. There's another pretty good book that just came out last fall, which I'm reading now. It's called White Flight : Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism (Politics and Society in Twentieth Century America), by a man named Kevin Kruse.

One of the things I like about the Bayor book is that it doesn't treat blacks merely as victims but goes into the fact that, both individually and in numbers, they were active agents in the process.

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Andrea, that is a good book.

Atlanta is a case study like few other cities in the country period.

Jahi98....Clayton County is much different than the Cascade area and South DeKalb. The tow latter areas are far more affluent than Clayton County. The Cascade area has long had an affluent populace although it was not as large as it is today. South Dekalb began attracting middle class blacks back when I was probably just a little over 5. Many developers are now discovering the Cascade and South DeKalb areas. John Wieland can't get enough of the Cascade area. With the newly opened CampCreek Marketplace, they are finally getting the retail to match the affluence in the area.

The Lithonia area is also very nice. The Stonecrest Mall has been a complete success and I don't know of many malls that have had greater success in area development in the last ten years with the exception of NorthPoint Mall and the Mall of Georgia. To me, Lithonia has greater housing options than Cascade. Meaning you can still find a greater number of subdivisions priced from the $150's and going all the way to $1 million....where as Cascade seems to concentrate from the $300's to $1 million. Lithonia has a larger population which tends to turn the focus more on it in the national limelight.

While these areas are not great examples of urban development, they are interesting to see in terms of development. For years they were neglected and now developers and people moving to the area are discovering what makes Cascade and Lithonia unique.

Interesting point though...as was said earlier...you are now finding strong socio-economic issues brewing in these areas. Jahi98 told of the Lithonia neighborhood coming out against a townhome development and I remember a few years ago when the parents of the Sandtown community (West Cascade) convinced the Fulton County Board of Education for rezonings for the Randolph Elementary school district. At first glance it seemed like it was to make the school district more cohesive....in the end it was to zone out some apartment complexes because the parents felt that test scores were lagging.

Now that I think of it though....why is this thread titled "Blacks flocking to City's suburbs?" Haven't there always been blacks in suburbs?

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