NEW YORK — Nearly fifty years ago, Blacks retreated from the South to elude the implications of segregation. Ironically, today many Blacks, in New York especially, are migrating back to the South in search of economic refuge.
About 17 percent of African-Americans who moved to the south in the past decade came from New York, according to census data. Additionally, of the 44,474 people who left New York State in 2009, more than half (22,508) fled to the South, according to a study conducted by Queens College for The New York Times. Numbers also reveal the amount of Blacks, many of whom are college educated, moving to the South from other states in the East and Midwest is at the highest level its been in decades.
This surge of relocation to the South, for most migrants, is attributed to the economic downturn. Many middle-class African-Americans are faced with financial hardships that have propelled them to seek geographical alternatives. One alternative is the South, where one may arguably live more financially secure.
The New York Times Reports:
The movement marks an inversion of the so-called Great Migration, which lasted roughly from World War I to the 1970s and saw African-Americans moving to the industrializing North to escape prejudice and find work.
Spencer Crew, a history professor at George Mason University who was the curator of a prominent exhibit on the Great Migration at the Smithsonian Institution, said the current exodus from New York stemmed largely from tough economic times. New York is increasingly unaffordable, and blacks see more opportunities in the South.