Are We In the Midst of Another ‘Great Migration’?

black man in the driver seat
Alyssa Guzik
September 12, 2023

Over the past few decades, several major northern U.S. cities have seen a noticeable decline in the Black population. This shift is not only reshaping the social fabric of these areas but it also has far-reaching implications for issues like economic development, cultural identity, and community cohesion.

Between 1910 and 1970, over six million Black Americans moved from the South to northern states, a movement known as the Great Migration. As Black communities began to flourish, we brought new music, art, and political leanings into existing demographics. This shift led to the Harlem Renaissance, the birth of Chicago blues, and the stirrings of civil rights activism.

Despite our contributions to these areas, Black folks were often blamed for crime rates or displaced from the regions we called home because of gentrification. Now, cities like Detroit, Baltimore, and Chicago see their Black populations dropping significantly.

The cost of living, discriminatory housing practices, gentrification, and crime have made many of us flee areas. The loss of Black communities, however, has profound consequences. Local businesses suffer, cultural exchange slows, and political leanings shift.

As cities experience a decline in their Black population, the very fabric of urban neighborhoods transforms. Once-vibrant communities, rich in cultural heritage and diversity, risk losing their distinctive identities. 

Remember we are powerful wherever we tread.  

Imagine if the cities we created had not been destroyed by white terrorism, gentrification, and deliberate city planning?

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