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Old 09-02-2011, 11:22 AM
Location: VA soon to be NC
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Was wondering why there is such a lack of African American presence in Northern Virginia. I recently looked at related C-D thread that should a comparison between Atlanta and DC. This shows more dispersed population in Atlanta as opposed to just DC and PG.

Old 09-02-2011, 11:54 AM
Location: The Port City is rising.
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there is has been, well, forever, a large african american population in the city of Alexandria - Old town. In recent decades they have, IIUC, expanded south to eastern Prince William, though they are not a majority there. (they also moved to outlying parts of City of Alex) There was also a large african american pop in South Arlington, esp the neighborhood called Nauck, though IIUC that has declined. There are scatterings of african americans across suburban NoVa, and a few african american "yuppies" in north arlington and similar places.

There is also a substantial population of african immigrants in the Landmark area, straddling west alexandria and Fairfax County.
Old 09-02-2011, 12:10 PM
Location: New-Dentist Colony
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I think the proximity to DC and PG County (both of which have a significant AA population) has meant less reason for African Americans who didn't already live here to consider moving to NOVA. Whereas with Atlanta, for decades there was nothing but the sticks outside the city limits.

Even so, I'm not sure Atlanta doesn't follow a similar pattern as here. Sure, there are wealthy black neighborhoods there, but that's just it; they're mostly black. As I recall, the neighborhoods north of Midtown and north of the Perimeter are mostly white but not exclusively.

(BTW, in NOVA, there is also a section of N. Arlington called Highview Park/Hall's Hill that is traditionally AA.)
Old 09-02-2011, 12:21 PM
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Some minorities may be underrepresented in NOVA relative to their numbers in the general population, but I don't find the situation dramatic at all. Fairfax County is about 9% black; Alexandria city, 22%.
Old 09-02-2011, 12:32 PM
Location: DMV
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I'm black and I'm just going to be frank, it comes down to economics. Plain and simple, a majority of black people just cannot afford to live out in Northern Virginia. Prince George's County and DC (mainly SE) are much more affordable. There was a statistic that came out a few weeks ago that stated whites on average they have wealth about 20 times more than blacks in this nation. When you hear figures like that, it's pretty obvious that a majority of black people just can't afford to live like our white counterparts. I do think there are a few blacks who just enjoy the idea of living around others who look like them even though they have the money to move elsewhere, but then you have individuals like myself and my wife, who would rather live in a diverse area. We would just prefer to live in a much more diverse population as opposed to one that is homogeneous. With that said, the only reason why we aren't currently living in NoVA is finances. If property value was so bad in PG County, we would have been there yesterday. Everybody is different. It all depends on what you value. If you value living around people who look like you, you prefer having more house for your money, and/or you enjoy certain ethnic qualities that are unique to being around certain cultures then as a black person you are less likely to move to NoVA.
Old 09-02-2011, 12:35 PM
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
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For some reason, most of the blacks tend to migrate to Maryland rather than NoVA. I used to live in Montgomery County, and you do see many more blacks around there than in Fairfax County. I'm guessing way back when, Maryland being more liberal politically was more accepting of blacks or blacks were more attracted to it. Once they moved out that way, neighbors and friends followed. Also, as others mentioned, many moved from DC to PG County, and from there it's probably easier to stay within the state and move to other parts of MD than to VA. Just guesses on my part.
Old 09-02-2011, 01:03 PM
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This, plus Montgomery County also has more low and moderate-income housing spread out in different parts of the county (e.g., not just in Silver Spring to the east, but also in Rockville, Gaithersburg and Germantown to the west/northwest) than in Fairfax.

Having said that, Fairfax is almost 10% AA (slightly below the national average of 12.6%), and the Alexandria, Annandale, Springfield and Reston parts of Fairfax County all have a higher percentage of AA residents than you'd find in, say, Bethesda, Chevy Chase or Potomac.

In addition, if you looked at statistics on the enrollment of AA students in FCPS, you'd find that the number of AA students has increased in recent decades, just not as rapidly as the number of Asian and Hispanic students (in comparison, the number of White students has declined in both absolute and percentage terms).

In terms of political representation, Fairfax has elected several AA school board members (most recently, Tina Hone) and Cathy Hudgins has been re-elected as the Hunter Mill representative on the county Board of Supervisors for several terms.

So I think there is an AA "presence" in NoVa, though it is undoubtedly less pronounced that in the DC suburbs of Maryland or, perhaps, some of the Atlanta suburbs.
Old 09-02-2011, 01:45 PM
Location: Virginia-Shenandoah Valley
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I'm in PWC and there sure seems to be no shortage of AA's. I don't know what the percentage is and I'm too lazy to look it up. I wouldn't be surprised though to hear that the Hispanic population has grown larger than the AA population.
Old 09-02-2011, 01:50 PM
Location: Arlington, VA and Washington, DC
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I lived in the Landmark area of Alexandria City and it could not have been any less than 45% black or African immigrants. I know I was one of them.
Old 09-02-2011, 01:55 PM
Location: Ashburn, VA
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But what about AA civil servants? They make good money, so why not live in NoVa? There are also some nice places in PG - is it because you can get more house for your money there?
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