Statesman Op-Ed: Professor Mechele Dickerson Explains What’s Causing Austin’s Declining Black Population

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Dickerson: Why blacks are really leaving Austin

By Mechele Dickerson

As recent reports note, blacks continue to leave Austin. Many say it is because of the city’s decision in the 1920s to create a “negro district” or because of ongoing tensions between the black community and the Austin Police Department. The main reason blacks are leaving (and Latinos may soon follow), though, is the widening class chasm in Austin and in the U.S.

Austin, like many U.S. cities, continues to be segregated by race and income. Unlike most urban areas, though, Austin is one of the few cities where more blacks live in the suburbs than in the urban core. In most urban cities, it is the reverse: whites (not blacks) leave the city for the suburbs and exurbs.

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