You may or may not have heard that recently the Census Bureau released data saying that Cook County lost the third most population in the first five years of the decade (behind New Orleans' and Detroit's counties). But as it turns out, this is not white flight from the city. In actuality,
African-Americans, once constricted by racism to certain areas within the city, now are leaving Chicago for the suburbs and beyond, in numbers double those of whites.Is this a positive sign? Are suburbs becoming more welcoming to minorities? According to the authors, it would seem so. They note,
African-Americans are accepted today in many more suburbs than in the past.They do observe, though, that continued change is needed.
But not everywhere. When...settlement patterns [are mapped] across the region...about a third of all suburbs have fewer than 25 African-American households each -- and, in some cases, none at all."Things aren't as bad as they used to be," notes Northwestern University geographer John C. Hudson. The authors conclude,
However, the remaining effects of racism, less overt than they once were but present nonetheless, continue to limit African-American housing choices. As a result, blacks, particularly working-class and low-income families, still don't have the same freedom of movement as whites.