U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Minnesota
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 02-02-2015, 08:09 PM
 
2 posts, read 3,065 times
Reputation: 15

Advertisements

Hello,
I have a job offer in Bemidji, MN. I am currently located in Atlanta, Georgia and considering if I should take the job offer. I am not concerned with the weather. I was wondering how accepting the people are here and what the environment is like? I say this because I am an African American woman in my mid 20's and a little concerned because I am not familiar with the area at all. I want to make sure I would be comfortable moving here before I accept the offer. I would really love your input and if you have any suggestions of areas that may be a reasonable commute from Bemidji for me to live.


Thank You!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 02-02-2015, 08:17 PM
 
1,774 posts, read 1,731,089 times
Reputation: 2700
Bemidji is cool, but it's small town living. Watch some episodes of Northern Exposure and Fargo on Netflix to get an idea of what it's like.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-02-2015, 09:47 PM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
4,981 posts, read 5,449,503 times
Reputation: 9212
Bemidji is a college town. Being AA will not be an issue. I know you wrote that you didn't mind the weather, but be sure you know what you're getting into: the climate is much colder. It may take you a year to get used to it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-03-2015, 12:48 AM
 
5,799 posts, read 4,812,198 times
Reputation: 17499
Bemidji has a very high American Indian population (Ojibwe, mostly). And because it is a college town people come there from around the world. It also gets many tourists. That said, there are very few Blacks in town. So it depends on how you would feel about that. There is a large crunchie granola population in the area. I think when it comes right down to it you would be very welcomed. But while I don't think you would experience racism per se, outside of the town itself people might look just out of curiosity.

Most people really love Bemidji. For some reason the town gives ME the heebie jeebies, but that's probably just my own particular sensitivities (which I want to clarify have nothing to do with people or ethnicities.)

Last edited by 601halfdozen0theother; 02-03-2015 at 01:39 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-03-2015, 09:01 AM
 
744 posts, read 725,944 times
Reputation: 1571
Quote:
Originally Posted by nb2022 View Post
Hello,
I have a job offer in Bemidji, MN. I am currently located in Atlanta, Georgia and considering if I should take the job offer. I am not concerned with the weather. I was wondering how accepting the people are here and what the environment is like? I say this because I am an African American woman in my mid 20's and a little concerned because I am not familiar with the area at all. I want to make sure I would be comfortable moving here before I accept the offer. I would really love your input and if you have any suggestions of areas that may be a reasonable commute from Bemidji for me to live.


Thank You!
I could not in good conscience recommend Bemidji to most African Americans. The reason I say 'most' is because most people of any color or background have a difficult time being in the extreme minority. Bemidji is 1.2% African American. Coming from Atlanta, that would be culture shock on steroids. I doubt the fact that Bemidji has a large Native American population will be of much comfort because I think you will miss a shared culture and shared experience that you are accustomed to in Atlanta. Even moving to the much more diverse Minneapolis would be a shock given that your home city is just over 50% African American and here it's just 18%.

So you need to ask yourself a very blunt question: "can I deal with not only living in a small town, but a small town where less than 1 in 50 people is African American?".

My personal experience in small town Minnesota is that there is not much acceptance of difference, but I fully accept that others may have a different personal experience (it's part of the definition of the term). I would be surprised if you did not encounter racism, and at a minimum you will encounter a special kind of cluelessness that comes from being in an environment where the people are pretty sheltered and provincial. Unlike in the South, 'outstate' (i.e.: non-metro) Minnesota is very, very white.

Minnesota is a contradictory state when it comes to matters of racial tolerance. We have a positive history of being one of the source states for the SNCC, our political history includes having Walter Mondale and Hubert H Humphrey who were quite instrumental in dividing the Dixiecrats from the Democrats, for a long period we had two Jewish senators for a state that is 1% Jewish, etc. On the other hand we currently have one of the largest education and employment gaps between whites and non-whites in the entire country. It's difficult to account for which face of Minnesota will present itself to you. Hoping for the best and preparing for the worst I think is a wise course of action here.

Lastly, there is just a plain cultural difference between Minnesota and Georgia (or many parts of the country). Some call it 'Minnesota Nice'. In a positive vein, people are polite and nice and smile at strangers. In a negative vein, strangers are often left on the foyer and find it difficult to break through 'Minnesota Ice'. Separating Minnesota aloofness (a cultural relic of our Scandinavian/German ancestry) from perceived racism will be difficult and could be rather depressing. Again, you're really going to need to know yourself and how you might react to the feeling of social isolation that many, many transplants have attested to; and again, your personal experience may be much more positive than theirs.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-03-2015, 07:07 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
17,032 posts, read 26,019,755 times
Reputation: 16166
Small town, pretty area. Not many AA folks there, culture shock from Atlanta. Native Americans are largest minority. Lutheran and catholic are diversity.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-03-2015, 07:38 PM
 
2 posts, read 3,065 times
Reputation: 15
Thank you all for responding. I really appreciate your honesty. Your responses helped a lot! I think maybe I'll wait for something in a bit more of a metropolitan area. Thank You!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-04-2015, 08:02 AM
 
137 posts, read 160,704 times
Reputation: 264
First of all, read the novel Main Street by Sinclair Lewis. It's about a 20-something woman plopped into a small town in northwestern Minnesota. Although it's almost 100 years old by now, it will help you understand the culture.

I think this will largely boil down to how you would feel about living in a small and isolated town. If you prefer the hustle and bustle of a big city, no amount of Minnesotan cultural quirks will sway you in either direction.

Assuming you are comfortable living in a town with just over 10,000 that's quite a hike just to Fargo, then I would give a wholehearted maybe on the idea. I can't comment specifically on Bemidji, but I did spend a good chunk of my mid 20's in a similar sized Minnesota city. Day to day life should be generally pleasant. Cost of living should be reasonable and it's big enough to have most shopping that you would need. The guarantees at least a bit more sports, theater, and music events for entertainment. The area would certainly be great for somebody who appreciates nature and the outdoors.

Your social experiences are tough to predict. Your skin color will limit you less than your age. There will be very few 20-somethings who are not college students. Of those, most will have grown up in Bemidji. If you're willing to look past your own age bracket, then you can really expand your options. The advantage of a smaller town is that since everybody else has fewer choices for friends, then they have more incentive to get to know new people in town. You can make friends and meet people, but don't expect it to happen for free. You have to work at it. You have to try as many activities as you can and look for every opportunity to get involved.

I doubt your race will be much of an issue. I'd expect a handful of people to be excited at the chance to befriend you in order to prove that they aren't racist. You may also make a friend who later makes a derogatory comment about blacks in general to you without ever realizing that you're black. Beyond that, I would not expect to be treated much differently than any other newcomer. Of course, the standard treatment could very well seem racist from your perspective. It's just the general suspicion of anybody whose grandfather wasn't born there. Prove that you're interested in their community and culture- and not just Minnesota culture in general but what distinguishes Bemidji from say Brainerd- and they'll let you in.

Worst case scenario, you like it in theory but feel vaguely dissatisfied. Best case scenario, you love a small community with just enough entertainment and great access to the outdoors. Realistically, you like it for awhile and are glad you tried it, and decide to move on. If you get nothing else out of this post, go to the library right now and get a copy of Main Street.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oildog View Post
Lutheran and catholic are diversity.
No. The Methodists are the diversity.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-04-2015, 11:03 AM
 
42 posts, read 40,177 times
Reputation: 70
My first thought was that the weather should be a consideration, at least if you are driving to work a considerable distance in the winter. Secondly, lots of folks are looking for work here , I'm trying to guess what kind of job is offered to someone from across the country? You are young and could have some very specialized skills but I'm guessing not a long careers worth of professional experience? If you are working hard and pulling your weight no one is going to pay any attention to your race, age, or gender. Im wondering what was contained in the first 5 responses that made you change your mind about Bemidji and seek a more metro area?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Minnesota
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top