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The New Great Migration 

Originally written by Tara Servatius, July 13, 2005

In the early 20th century, a Great Migration began in the South. It happened in waves and lasted well into the 1970s. Some 6 million African Americans left this region and other intolerant parts of the United States, heading up north to metropolitan areas like Chicago and New York City, where jobs were more plentiful and dangers fewer.

A curious thing began happening, though, as early as the mid-1960s. Some African Americans were returning to the South, though in smaller numbers. And then the floodgates opened. By the mid-1990s, when New South prosperity was the talk of the town everywhere from Dallas to Atlanta, African Americans, many of them upwardly mobile professionals, were migrating back to the South in huge numbers. The trend came to be known as the New Great Migration.

By the 2000s, Charlotte had shot up the list of beneficiaries of this trend. The Queen City was the new black American hotspot.

In this 2005 cover story, CL reported:

Since 1995, an estimated 61,000 blacks of all ages, education and income levels have moved to Mecklenburg County, according to US Census and Claritas data.

Just how big are those numbers? Big enough to make Charlotte the No. 3 relocation destination in the country for African Americans. By the end of the last decade, Charlotte had attracted more new African Americans than all but two other U.S. cities, Atlanta and Dallas, according to a 2004 study by the Brookings Institute, one of Washington, DC's oldest think tanks ...

Among African Americans, many say, word is out that Charlotte is the 'it' place to be.

Today our community is reaping the benefits everywhere from our music scene to our mayor to our status as home city for the CIAA basketball tournament and this year's host city for the Democratic National Convention. As N.C.'s native funkateer George Clinton would say, "That's why we love you, CC."

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