Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 17 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEd News:
OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 6/22/11

A 20-Point Plan to Shrink Black Atlanta

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   No comments
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Robert Bullard
Become a Fan
  (5 fans)

Black Atlanta has undergone a dramatic demographic shift over the past four decades even though the city's overall population has remained somewhat constant.   Many of these trends are detailed in The Black Metropolis in the Twenty-First Century, a book I edited in 2007. Atlanta's population grew from 467,455 in 1960 to 496,973 in 1970 -- with the Atlanta's black share increasing from 39.9 percent to 51.3 percent.   During 1980-1990, the city's population decreased from 425,022 to 394,017 -- while the black share of Atlanta's population jumped from 66.6 percent to 67.1 percent. The 2000-2010 decade saw Atlanta growing from 416,474 to 420,003, while the black share of the city continued to decline, from 61.4 percent to 54.0 percent.

The 2010 census also revealed a major exodus of blacks from Atlanta over the previous decade, with the black population falling by 29,746 people.   Atlanta's black population loss occurred at the same time blacks in the metro area grew by 40 percent, an addition of 490,982.

The lion's share of blacks who migrated to Metro Atlanta settled in the suburbs -- not the city -- a trend unlike the one that gave the city a black majority and its first black mayor, Maynard Jackson, elected in the 1973.   Metro Atlanta now has the second largest black population of all U.S. metropolitan regions, surpassing Chicago, and just behind New York.

Clearly, Atlanta, often affectionately tagged the "Black Mecca" of the South, is being depopulated of its black citizens. This demographic transition is not an overnight phenomenon. It is important to note that this black exodus took shape during an era of Black mayors and majority black city councils.   The impetus for this demographic shift can be summarized in the following 20 trends:

1. The 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games--served as a "shot of adrenaline" that kicked off the black depopulation trend;

2. Demolition of all public housing in the city;

3. Overt hostility directed at the poor and homeless population;

4. Heightened class warfare between black "elites" and black "underclass;"

5. Squandering of Atlanta Empowerment Zone funds designed to revitalize low-wealth minority neighborhoods;

6. Diverting public funds into private ventures and away from the city's core black neighborhoods;

7. Dismantling of the public health safety-net hospital--privatization of Grady Hospital;

8. Failing Atlanta Public Schools;

9. Defunding the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority or MARTA;

10. Racial redlining and disinvestment by banks, mortgage firms, insurance companies, and commercial enterprises;

11. Predatory mortgage lending;

12. Gentrification and displacement in urban core neighborhoods;

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Rate It | View Ratings

Robert Bullard Social Media Pages: Facebook Page       Twitter Page       Linked In Page       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Robert D. Bullard is Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy in the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University in Houston. His most recent book is entitled "The Wrong Complexion (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Dumping in Dixie: TVA Toxic Spill Cleaned Up and Shipped to Alabama Blackbelt

Why a U.S. "Southern Initiative" on Climate Justice is Needed

Government Allows BP to Dump Oil-Spill Waste on Black Communities

A Call to Diversify Green Groups and Equitable Funding of People of Color Environmental Justice Groups

MLK Day 2013: Why Transportation is Still a Civil Rights Issue

Over 60 Percent of BP Waste Dumped in Minority Communities

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend