U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Pennsylvania > Philadelphia
 [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)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 02-18-2019, 11:49 AM
 
17 posts, read 14,897 times
Reputation: 15

Advertisements

Hey All,

I was considering some of the nicer Chester County ( Kennett Square, Exton, West Chester), PA suburbs but I noticed the schools had extremely low Black percentages. How is it on the ground there? Can any Blacks or anyone with insight to race relations there give feedback on how it is there?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 02-18-2019, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Chadds Ford
405 posts, read 189,691 times
Reputation: 416
I'm white and graduated from West Chester Area School District (East High School) in 2002. Most of the black kids (at the time at least) lived in West Chester Borough. There would be some black families living outside of the borough, but the disparity was noticeable.

According to Niche, 10% of West Chester borough are black which is about what I was expecting. But it's also 10% hispanic, 2% mixed, and 2% asian, so a quarter of the residents are some type of minority. I consider West Chester to be an inclusive place, especially after you consider its "college town" aspect.

Compare that to 4% of Kennett Square borough being black and 48% are hispanic. I currently live near Kennett Square and haven't visited it enough to draw any conclusions, but I've never witnessed any evidence of racial conflict there.

Exton, has always been more of a half-commercial, half-Main-Line hodgepodge. It's a well-off area but never felt like reality to me. I would consider it the most racially-homogenous place being discussed (almost entirely white and asian).

Have you considered Downingtown at all? It's about the same racial composition as West Chester, it has good schools, and it's technically on the Main Line. I drove through there last weekend and it's definitely more vibrant than I remember it being years ago.

But long-story short, Chester County is really good with race relations (I understand I'm saying that as a white guy).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-18-2019, 02:53 PM
 
17 posts, read 14,897 times
Reputation: 15
Yes, I am open to Downingtown. I really prefer Kennett Square because I want to get as close as I can to Newark, DE while being in PA and zoned to good schools.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-19-2019, 11:00 AM
 
Location: Chadds Ford
405 posts, read 189,691 times
Reputation: 416
It seems like you already did your research, as I would agree Kennett Square is be your best bet.

Once you get west of Kennett Square, things get very rural very fast, but don't overlook West Grove if you're looking for black inclusivity. Lincoln University is a historically black college right by there, so there's always 2000 undergrads present who don't get captured in demographic data. But you would need to love the outdoors and mushroom farms to prefer it over Kennett Square.

West Grove's schools are pretty good, but Kennett's is probably better. Kennett Square might actually be one of the best school districts in the state, but its rankings get hurt by the standardized test scores of English-as-a-Second-Language students.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-19-2019, 04:26 PM
 
12,840 posts, read 29,223,904 times
Reputation: 7403
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patmcpsu View Post
I'm white and graduated from West Chester Area School District (East High School) in 2002. Most of the black kids (at the time at least) lived in West Chester Borough. There would be some black families living outside of the borough, but the disparity was noticeable.

According to Niche, 10% of West Chester borough are black which is about what I was expecting. But it's also 10% hispanic, 2% mixed, and 2% asian, so a quarter of the residents are some type of minority. I consider West Chester to be an inclusive place, especially after you consider its "college town" aspect.

Compare that to 4% of Kennett Square borough being black and 48% are hispanic. I currently live near Kennett Square and haven't visited it enough to draw any conclusions, but I've never witnessed any evidence of racial conflict there.

Exton, has always been more of a half-commercial, half-Main-Line hodgepodge. It's a well-off area but never felt like reality to me. I would consider it the most racially-homogenous place being discussed (almost entirely white and asian).

Have you considered Downingtown at all? It's about the same racial composition as West Chester, it has good schools, and it's technically on the Main Line. I drove through there last weekend and it's definitely more vibrant than I remember it being years ago.

But long-story short, Chester County is really good with race relations (I understand I'm saying that as a white guy).
Robalob, I agree with going with Kennett Square, especially with your goal of getting to Newark.

Patmcpsu, I'm a little confused with your statement about Downingtown "technically being on the Main Line". I've never heard of it included in that group. I'm no Main Line expert, but I think of it as wikipedia has it defined - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelphia_Main_Line That might be a fun Philadelphia topic for discussion.
__________________
Please follow THESE rules.

Any Questions on how to use this site? See this.

Realtors, See This.

Moderator - Lehigh Valley, NEPA, Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Education and Colleges and Universities.

When I post in bold red, that is Moderator action and per the TOS can be discussed only via Direct Message.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-19-2019, 05:40 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
245 posts, read 162,467 times
Reputation: 632
Quote:
Originally Posted by toobusytoday View Post
Patmcpsu, I'm a little confused with your statement about Downingtown "technically being on the Main Line". I've never heard of it included in that group. I'm no Main Line expert, but I think of it as wikipedia has it defined - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelphia_Main_Line That might be a fun Philadelphia topic for discussion.
The Wikipedia article appears to be poorly sourced with regard to the origins of the term “Main Line”. The article claims that the term comes from the Main Line of the Pennsylvania Railroad, which was the railroad’s main branch (essentially its raison d’√™tre) connecting Philadelphia with Pittsburgh after 1857.

I’ve seen other sources that claim the name “Main Line” with reference to the wealthy suburbs west of Philadelphia originated with the earlier (1826) Pennsylvania Main Line of Public Works—which is more or less the same route as the later PRR Main Line, except that the railroad continued west only as far as Columbia (west of Lancaster), where passengers and cargo transferred to barges and completed the trip to Pittsburgh by canal (plus an interesting early intermodal barge-on-rail “portage railroad” from near Altoona to Johnstown).

Either way, the net effect is the same: “Main Line” is derived to the name of the rail route from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh. So it could be argued that Downingtown and Coatesville...and Lancaster and Harrisburg (etc. etc.) are on the “Main Line”.

But the origin of “Main Line” with regard to Philadelphia’s wealthy suburbs is so far in the past that rail history is irrelevant to most people when using the term. In common usage, I think most people use “Main Line” up until Paoli—possibly Malvern where the name “Great Valley” begins appearing. But I can’t ever recall hearing anyone applying the term “Main Line” to Exton, Downingtown, or beyond.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-19-2019, 07:27 PM
 
Location: Dude...., I'm right here
1,355 posts, read 864,304 times
Reputation: 910
Kennett Square is sleepy and probably the least progressive of the places you've mentioned. Other than diversity, what else are you interested in and what is your budget? Where will you be working?

I'd vote for Exton (which is priciest). West Chester has the borough (and the suburbs) and would give you a different lifestyle. Downingtown is family oriented and probably has the highest percentage of African Americans.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-19-2019, 08:05 PM
 
17 posts, read 14,897 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ondoner View Post
Kennett Square is sleepy and probably the least progressive of the places you've mentioned. Other than diversity, what else are you interested in and what is your budget? Where will you be working?

I'd vote for Exton (which is priciest). West Chester has the borough (and the suburbs) and would give you a different lifestyle. Downingtown is family oriented and probably has the highest percentage of African Americans.
I work from home so I am flexible with location but I do have family near Newark so I don't want to go too far. Aside from race, I'm looking for somewhere family oriented, good schools, and safe. I'd like to get a house for 400k (Don't mind if I have to renovate it)

Why do to vote Exton?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-19-2019, 08:49 PM
 
1,578 posts, read 1,447,662 times
Reputation: 935
I have a friend who grew up in the Kennett Square area. After talking with him, there are definitely invisible racial barriers. He gave me the impression that at least with the whites and Hispanics, they tend to live in the same regions and it's not necessarily just because they are used to their own culture.

He doesn't have as much of a sense with African-Americans, but if there is some potential strife with Hispanics, then I'm sure it's probably around with African-Americans too.

There are some economic barriers that cause the riff. Kennett Square being formerly much more rural has certainly lent itself to the potential prejudices that might normally develop in a "typical American rural hick town." However, with the integration of Hispanics settling and running successful businesses with Kennett Square's gentrification, this has complicated these racial issues- I sense more positively than negatively overall. The mushroom phenomenon has certainly populated international growth not normally expected in such a rural area.

There is also a dynamic of an invisible implication of "weeding the bad people out" since there seem to be no apartments available to rent.

I wonder if this potential economic dynamic of homogeneity has allowed the place to run more smoothly, but ironically and indirectly create invisible racial mindsets consciously and unconsciously.

I could be off, but that's my personal impression based on my experience.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-20-2019, 05:16 AM
 
Location: Chadds Ford
405 posts, read 189,691 times
Reputation: 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by toobusytoday View Post
Patmcpsu, I'm a little confused with your statement about Downingtown "technically being on the Main Line". I've never heard of it included in that group. I'm no Main Line expert, but I think of it as wikipedia has it defined - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelphia_Main_Line That might be a fun Philadelphia topic for discussion.
My definition of the Main Line is "the R5 (now the Paoli/Thorndale Line)" but there's also the understanding that the towns after Paoli/Malvern aren't "Main Line Towns". This is why I consider Exton, Whitford, Downington and Thorndale as "technically being on the Main Line".

I've never been a Main Liner so I could be wrong, but my formerly Main Line wife seems to agree.

Last edited by Patmcpsu; 02-20-2019 at 05:53 AM..
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:


Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 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 > Pennsylvania > Philadelphia
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

¬© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - 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, 36, 37 - Top