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Old 05-16-2009, 05:19 PM
 
Location: Seven Fields, PA (near Pittsburgh)
14 posts, read 65,256 times
Reputation: 14

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I currently live just north of Pittsburgh, and have wanted to move to Florida for years. I came down a few weeks ago, and really liked the area. I checked on rent and work, and it is very comparable to what the cost of living in Pittsburgh is. So I have decided to move to the area.

I wanted to know how the area is for minorities. One of the biggest reasons I want to move is because I have deemed myself undate-able in Pittsburgh. I am an attractive, professional black woman. I am attracted to all types of men, but primarily have dated white men. But where I live, there is still a huge stigma that goes along with that it seems. There really are not many professional black males in my area to date either. They are either married or dating or don't date black women it seems. And with white men, I get the, "You are a great girl BUT...." The unspoken reality of BUT. Frankly, I am tired of it and would like to be in an area that would make it easier to date. It is not my only reason for moving, but it is a concern.

Is there a huge racial divide in this area? Just want to know what I am in for.
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Old 05-16-2009, 07:18 PM
 
Location: Tejas
263 posts, read 968,786 times
Reputation: 232
The Tampa area is very diverse and while there are pockets of intolerance, it's pretty open minded. Back in the day when I was single, I dated men who were black, white, Hispanic and Asian (I'm white). You will see lots of mixed couples and blended families.

And what's with black males not wanting to date black women? I've heard other black women say that, too.

I hope that you enjoy living in Tampa!
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Old 05-17-2009, 12:07 AM
 
Location: NY,NY
2,899 posts, read 8,558,976 times
Reputation: 2035
Hello,

I've lived in Tampa for short stints, 3 occasions, over the last 10 plus years, and have visited in the area numerous times. I am a black male.

Back in the mid 90s (i guess), Tampa (and the business community) made a show of attempting to attract black professionals. Unfortunately, it was largely unsuccessful. The problem is two-fold:

1) As a young black airport porter (one of the few blacks I came into contact with during my initial trip) said to me : "This is (still) the DEEP south"! While, of course, the sort of 60s overt racism isn't apparent any longer, you will encounter the occasional southern born local flying the Confederate Flag (and don't be surprised if he lives right next door!).

Also there is the yearly celebration, "Gaspirilla" (I believe that's the correct spelling), thousands of people show up, unfortunately the only black folk you'll see will be 'white folk' in black-face!!!! and quite a few of them.

So, you see, nothing is overt or even intentional, just too often a certain disregard and/or plain insensitivity. The thing about Gaspirilla, is it's popularity among the white (southern) professional crowd. You know, being a black professional, the sort of co-workers and colleagues you'll probably deal with on a daily basis. One will wonder was that my 'boss' I just saw parading down the street (during Gaspirilla) in black face!?

2) Take specific note: Blacks, in general, make up roughly ONE PERCENT of the population. The farther from the black sections of Tampa/St. Pete/Clearwater you get, generally, the fewer blacks you will encounter.

Being a "professional" the less likely it will be that you'll live in either of the black sections. It isn't a crime thing either, simply put the housing in the black sections is old and worn. Being from a big northeastern city, you'll laugh at what they call "crime" down here. Even in the black sections, there's (relatively) little crime and that is confined to a SMALL area.

The white folks are obsessed with crime, in general, and specifically that committed by blacks, despite the fact that, generally, crime outside of the black sections of Tampa/St. Pete/Clearwater is committed by whites. Move outside those areas and its whites robbing banks, 7-11s and Pik Qwiks! Not to mention the occasional shooting of a black man driving a brand new Caddillac by a guy in a broke down pickup truck flying a Confederate flag (true story).

All that's the negative from a black perspective, putting that aside, the weather and water are incredible, and the people, black and white, are overwhelming nice! I attribute this also, two-fold, to southern manners and hospitality, as well as the goodly number of mid-western transplants/retirees. It used to be no matter where you went, EVERYONE, and I do mean everyone would greet you with a big howdy, hello and a few good words. Unfortunately, in Tampa proper, that is no longer the case, though you'll still find that sort of warm welcome openness up north in Pasco and Hillsborough county. Though you won't find many blacks!!!

Getting back to the main thrust of your question, you may find that establishing a love life will be difficult on both fronts. Black professionals are far and few between, and there just isn't anyplace that 'we' gather. There's no place that's our place. For example, on my second stint in Tampa (of course this was in the early 90s), other than my GF and her family, I'm not sure I spoke with another black person at any time! Certainly not a black professional!!! Of course, its 10 years later, and the last time I was down was a bit over 2 years ago, and the area has gone through some changes. Yet, the 99 to 1 factor is largely in tact.

The basic problem in attracting black professionals to the area is the lack of a black social life. There is no "black" night life, as you may have experienced in Pittsburgh (never been there so not sure what its like), but if you've been to NY, DC, or Atlanta, for example---Tampa has absolutely nothing to compare or offer black professionals to compete against those and other cities. The large corporations down there made a big push (doesn't look good to have no black faces on the company brochure!), yet as I said it was unsuccessful.

Additionally, as you appear to state, you are open or more open, perhaps, to dating white males. Again, there's a problem! Tampa ain't Pittsburgh, or any northern city for that matter. Frankly, in my knowledge and experience, one will find a greater percentage of black/white dating interaction in most large southern cities than in most northern cities. Unfortunately, Tampa is near the bottom of that list, probably because of the low percentage of blacks in the population at large. Remember, 99 to 1!

The other aspect is that you're a woman. Tampa is a southern city, and most of the professional class is made up, down there, of white, southern born males. Think about it, how many college educated boys from Alabama, Mississippi, or Georgia, for example have you run into in the business offices of Pittsburgh? Few and far between I suspect. So, as a black woman, you're just not their cup of tea. These aren't white boys from Harvard, Columbia, or even Duke, who may have been exposed to 'SISTERS'; they're boys from North Carolina, Ole Miss, or USF and their focus has always been to attain status and achieve Barbe--blond hair, blue-eyed and all. Shoot, the sun down there turns most white girls' hair BLOND and that's a fact!

Luck!
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Old 05-17-2009, 01:21 AM
 
Location: NY,NY
2,899 posts, read 8,558,976 times
Reputation: 2035
@ gui_con,

No offense intended at all, but despite your apparent openness, as a white women, your perspective of "diversity" and "lots" simply can't be compared to that (or the needs) of a minority person. Not sure, at all, what you mean by "blended".

For most whites in a room full of ten people, just one black is a LOT! In Tampa, a room of ten people does not include a black person.

Realize that the OP is interested in a black or white PROFESSIONAL! If you're dating experience was/is a bit more vocationally diverse, take that into consideration. The local hip-hop homeboy isn't apart of the stats!

The numbers simply don't support your contention, specifically given that the majority of "professionals" live outside Tampa proper, and that signficantly less than 50% of the overall greater Tampa population is college educated, and of that I would surmise that far less than 10% is black. The greater Tampa poulation equals roughly 4 million. I would wager roughly 1.5% of the overall greater Tampa population is black and college educated. Sad but likely true:

Races in Tampa:

* White Non-Hispanic (51.0%)
* Black (26.1%)
* Hispanic (19.3%)
* Other race (4.2%)
* Two or more races (2.9%)
* American Indian (0.9%)
* Asian Indian (0.6%)

Races in Hillsborough County, Florida:

* White Non-Hispanic (63.3%)
* Hispanic (18.0%)
* Black (15.0%)
* Other race (4.7%)
* Two or more races (2.6%)
* American Indian (0.9%)
* Asian Indian (0.6%)

Note, for those unaware, Tampa exists within the county of Hillsborough. Once outside the "inner" city, the black population immediately drops 11%. A rough guess equates that to less than a 5 mile radius!

Additionally, its a fact that while density decreases outside of Tampa proper, population increases. As with most major American cities, Tampa is a city composed of a black inner core surrounded by a greater white surrounding. Upon information and belief Tampa, of all major American cities has the smallest inner core.

Races in Pasco County, Florida:

* White Non-Hispanic (89.9%)
* Hispanic (5.7%)
* Black (2.1%)
* Other race (1.5%)
* Two or more races (1.4%)
* American Indian (0.9%)

Races in Hernando County, Florida:

* White Non-Hispanic (89.2%)
* Hispanic (5.0%)
* Black (4.1%)
* Two or more races (1.1%)
* Other race (1.0%)
* American Indian (0.7%)

Within Hernando county there is the small Floridian city of Brooksville, which maintaining the norm, has a small black inner core which accounts for the percentage increase over Pasco county which has no such city or core. I would also surmise that Pasco's 2.1% pretty much represents the black professional class as it exist in the greater Tampa area.

Races in Pinellas County, Florida:

* White Non-Hispanic (82.8%)
* Black (9.0%)
* Hispanic (4.6%)
* Two or more races (1.6%)
* Other race (1.1%)
* American Indian (0.7%)
* Vietnamese (0.5%)

Note, for those unaware, St. Pete and Clearwater exist within the county of Pinellas, and similar to Tampa with a black inner core.

[Percentage stats taken from City-Data.com.]
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Old 05-17-2009, 01:58 AM
 
Location: NY,NY
2,899 posts, read 8,558,976 times
Reputation: 2035
Note the date of the below article, almost TWENTY years ago!!

black professionals leaving tampa behind
st. pete times 12/31/90
St. Petersburg Times - Google News Archive Search


This article is from 2005
Searching For Companionship - from TBO.com

This from 2007
Floridian: Black professionals seeking social scene


So, in twenty years, the more things have changed, the more they've stayed the same; and unfortunately, the present economic circumstance will only have a negative effect.

Sorry for the overkill, but it's a subject near and dear to the heart. I love Tampa too.

Again, luck!

P.S., a bit of advice, despite the Tampa area's portentions, Tampa and the area is NOT a "city", its more a humongous suburb! So, being from a large northern city---you are going to experience SEVERE culture shock; not only the dearth of black folk, but also, other major differences culturally, north/south, big city/no city, etc.

My advice is to make sure you maintain a "get out of jail free" fund! There is probably a wage and rent/mortgage difference between Pittsburgh and Tampa (there's a BIG one between Tampa and NY). I'm sure you have and are about to expend a significant sum of money to make the move and get yourself setup in Tampa. Be aware, if you decide to move back to Pittsburgh, financially it'll be more difficult to move back, as you simply don't make as much money in Tampa. So, if you're unhappy with the move, you're going to need probably double the amount you used to move to Tampa. The thing is that with the wage difference its going to take you a significantly longer time to save up the money to move back. Being unhappy will make it seem even longer; and arriving back to your home city broke from the move just isn't the way to go.

So, when you move, I suggest you make sure you've got the money already in the bank to move back! Don't touch it til you're sure you're going to stay. At least, have a "get back" plan!

Again, Luck!
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Old 05-17-2009, 02:19 AM
 
Location: NY,NY
2,899 posts, read 8,558,976 times
Reputation: 2035
Here's another article from 2005

Quote:
The number of upper-income black households nearly quadrupled in Orlando; nearly tripled in Jacksonville and West Palm Beach; and doubled in Miami during the 1990s, according to a Tampa Tribune analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.
The Tampa metro area isnít included in the rankings because the percentage of black households here ó 8 percent ó was too small to be included. If the threshold were ignored, the metro area would rank as the fifth-fastest-growing in the country.
The threshold is $100,000.

http://winnersdontquit.com/articles/..._October30.pdf

[Emphasis added.]
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Old 05-17-2009, 04:58 PM
 
Location: I will be escaping Suck City and landing in Tampa in December
346 posts, read 807,913 times
Reputation: 202
I don't know what to say to help you. Based on my casual reading of Florida boards--it seems that the "Old South" side of Florida is north of Tampa. But Tampa and Miami are major metropolitans and you should have much better dating prospects. Pittsburgh might be a bit "blue collar"?

Though I'm a whitey, when I move to Florida next year, I might be interested in dating you--if you can play tennis, that is....
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Old 05-18-2009, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Seven Fields, PA (near Pittsburgh)
14 posts, read 65,256 times
Reputation: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by goi_cuon View Post
The Tampa area is very diverse and while there are pockets of intolerance, it's pretty open minded. Back in the day when I was single, I dated men who were black, white, Hispanic and Asian (I'm white). You will see lots of mixed couples and blended families.

And what's with black males not wanting to date black women? I've heard other black women say that, too.

I hope that you enjoy living in Tampa!
Thank you for the comment. From what I have heard, it is a very diverse area with many different types of people and tolerances. I look at it this way, my options can't get any worse than they are now, but at least I will be warm and near dozens of beaches.
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Old 05-18-2009, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Seven Fields, PA (near Pittsburgh)
14 posts, read 65,256 times
Reputation: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcoltrane View Post
@ gui_con,

No offense intended at all, but despite your apparent openness, as a white women, your perspective of "diversity" and "lots" simply can't be compared to that (or the needs) of a minority person. Not sure, at all, what you mean by "blended".

For most whites in a room full of ten people, just one black is a LOT! In Tampa, a room of ten people does not include a black person.

Realize that the OP is interested in a black or white PROFESSIONAL! If you're dating experience was/is a bit more vocationally diverse, take that into consideration. The local hip-hop homeboy isn't apart of the stats!

The numbers simply don't support your contention, specifically given that the majority of "professionals" live outside Tampa proper, and that signficantly less than 50% of the overall greater Tampa population is college educated, and of that I would surmise that far less than 10% is black. The greater Tampa poulation equals roughly 4 million. I would wager roughly 1.5% of the overall greater Tampa population is black and college educated. Sad but likely true:

Races in Tampa:

* White Non-Hispanic (51.0%)
* Black (26.1%)
* Hispanic (19.3%)
* Other race (4.2%)
* Two or more races (2.9%)
* American Indian (0.9%)
* Asian Indian (0.6%)

Races in Hillsborough County, Florida:

* White Non-Hispanic (63.3%)
* Hispanic (18.0%)
* Black (15.0%)
* Other race (4.7%)
* Two or more races (2.6%)
* American Indian (0.9%)
* Asian Indian (0.6%)

Note, for those unaware, Tampa exists within the county of Hillsborough. Once outside the "inner" city, the black population immediately drops 11%. A rough guess equates that to less than a 5 mile radius!

Additionally, its a fact that while density decreases outside of Tampa proper, population increases. As with most major American cities, Tampa is a city composed of a black inner core surrounded by a greater white surrounding. Upon information and belief Tampa, of all major American cities has the smallest inner core.

Races in Pasco County, Florida:

* White Non-Hispanic (89.9%)
* Hispanic (5.7%)
* Black (2.1%)
* Other race (1.5%)
* Two or more races (1.4%)
* American Indian (0.9%)

Races in Hernando County, Florida:

* White Non-Hispanic (89.2%)
* Hispanic (5.0%)
* Black (4.1%)
* Two or more races (1.1%)
* Other race (1.0%)
* American Indian (0.7%)

Within Hernando county there is the small Floridian city of Brooksville, which maintaining the norm, has a small black inner core which accounts for the percentage increase over Pasco county which has no such city or core. I would also surmise that Pasco's 2.1% pretty much represents the black professional class as it exist in the greater Tampa area.

Races in Pinellas County, Florida:

* White Non-Hispanic (82.8%)
* Black (9.0%)
* Hispanic (4.6%)
* Two or more races (1.6%)
* Other race (1.1%)
* American Indian (0.7%)
* Vietnamese (0.5%)

Note, for those unaware, St. Pete and Clearwater exist within the county of Pinellas, and similar to Tampa with a black inner core.

[Percentage stats taken from City-Data.com.]

I guess I didn't really make myself clear. It is not so much that I am looking for the "black scene". Frankly, that is not my scene anyway. Where I live now there is a small percentage of blacks. So I am used to living in an area that has a majority of the population being non-black. I guess my issue is more about tolerance. Is there a big deal made about inter-racial dating in the area? I am used to there not being many black professional men for me to date. If there are more options for me to date within my race, great. But if not, is there any options for me to date at all?

Honestly, I can deal with mild racism. I have dealt with it all my life. There are areas very close to where I live no that have the Confederate flag flying from their trucks and we have tons of good ol' boys here. Western PA is very old school. It is not like Philly, where I hear there is more unity. But I also am not looking for blatant hatred either. I just wonder what I am going to be up against. It doesn't matter what it is, but I would like to know so I can prepare myself.

Thanks for the feedback.
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Old 05-18-2009, 09:58 AM
 
Location: Seven Fields, PA (near Pittsburgh)
14 posts, read 65,256 times
Reputation: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcoltrane View Post
Hello,

I've lived in Tampa for short stints, 3 occasions, over the last 10 plus years, and have visited in the area numerous times. I am a black male.

Back in the mid 90s (i guess), Tampa (and the business community) made a show of attempting to attract black professionals. Unfortunately, it was largely unsuccessful. The problem is two-fold:

1) As a young black airport porter (one of the few blacks I came into contact with during my initial trip) said to me : "This is (still) the DEEP south"! While, of course, the sort of 60s overt racism isn't apparent any longer, you will encounter the occasional southern born local flying the Confederate Flag (and don't be surprised if he lives right next door!).

Also there is the yearly celebration, "Gaspirilla" (I believe that's the correct spelling), thousands of people show up, unfortunately the only black folk you'll see will be 'white folk' in black-face!!!! and quite a few of them.

So, you see, nothing is overt or even intentional, just too often a certain disregard and/or plain insensitivity. The thing about Gaspirilla, is it's popularity among the white (southern) professional crowd. You know, being a black professional, the sort of co-workers and colleagues you'll probably deal with on a daily basis. One will wonder was that my 'boss' I just saw parading down the street (during Gaspirilla) in black face!?

2) Take specific note: Blacks, in general, make up roughly ONE PERCENT of the population. The farther from the black sections of Tampa/St. Pete/Clearwater you get, generally, the fewer blacks you will encounter.

Being a "professional" the less likely it will be that you'll live in either of the black sections. It isn't a crime thing either, simply put the housing in the black sections is old and worn. Being from a big northeastern city, you'll laugh at what they call "crime" down here. Even in the black sections, there's (relatively) little crime and that is confined to a SMALL area.

The white folks are obsessed with crime, in general, and specifically that committed by blacks, despite the fact that, generally, crime outside of the black sections of Tampa/St. Pete/Clearwater is committed by whites. Move outside those areas and its whites robbing banks, 7-11s and Pik Qwiks! Not to mention the occasional shooting of a black man driving a brand new Caddillac by a guy in a broke down pickup truck flying a Confederate flag (true story).

All that's the negative from a black perspective, putting that aside, the weather and water are incredible, and the people, black and white, are overwhelming nice! I attribute this also, two-fold, to southern manners and hospitality, as well as the goodly number of mid-western transplants/retirees. It used to be no matter where you went, EVERYONE, and I do mean everyone would greet you with a big howdy, hello and a few good words. Unfortunately, in Tampa proper, that is no longer the case, though you'll still find that sort of warm welcome openness up north in Pasco and Hillsborough county. Though you won't find many blacks!!!

Getting back to the main thrust of your question, you may find that establishing a love life will be difficult on both fronts. Black professionals are far and few between, and there just isn't anyplace that 'we' gather. There's no place that's our place. For example, on my second stint in Tampa (of course this was in the early 90s), other than my GF and her family, I'm not sure I spoke with another black person at any time! Certainly not a black professional!!! Of course, its 10 years later, and the last time I was down was a bit over 2 years ago, and the area has gone through some changes. Yet, the 99 to 1 factor is largely in tact.

The basic problem in attracting black professionals to the area is the lack of a black social life. There is no "black" night life, as you may have experienced in Pittsburgh (never been there so not sure what its like), but if you've been to NY, DC, or Atlanta, for example---Tampa has absolutely nothing to compare or offer black professionals to compete against those and other cities. The large corporations down there made a big push (doesn't look good to have no black faces on the company brochure!), yet as I said it was unsuccessful.

Additionally, as you appear to state, you are open or more open, perhaps, to dating white males. Again, there's a problem! Tampa ain't Pittsburgh, or any northern city for that matter. Frankly, in my knowledge and experience, one will find a greater percentage of black/white dating interaction in most large southern cities than in most northern cities. Unfortunately, Tampa is near the bottom of that list, probably because of the low percentage of blacks in the population at large. Remember, 99 to 1!

The other aspect is that you're a woman. Tampa is a southern city, and most of the professional class is made up, down there, of white, southern born males. Think about it, how many college educated boys from Alabama, Mississippi, or Georgia, for example have you run into in the business offices of Pittsburgh? Few and far between I suspect. So, as a black woman, you're just not their cup of tea. These aren't white boys from Harvard, Columbia, or even Duke, who may have been exposed to 'SISTERS'; they're boys from North Carolina, Ole Miss, or USF and their focus has always been to attain status and achieve Barbe--blond hair, blue-eyed and all. Shoot, the sun down there turns most white girls' hair BLOND and that's a fact!

Luck!

Can you tell me what Gaspirilla is? I am not familiar with that.
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