It’s good to see that I’m not the only one seeing all of the Gentrifiction that is changing the Chocolate City into the “White Chocolate” or “Swirl” City. Check the stats people…check the stats. Long term residents…hold on to your homes in DC!!! You are a dying breed. Black folks, stop moving to PG…as if it’s better. You know that all the Section 8 and Voucher housing is moving to PG NOW!!! Wake up!
Newsday.com | WASHINGTON – Much has changed since Ben’s Chili Bowl opened nearly 50 years ago on a bustling strip known as America’s Black Broadway for its thriving black-owned shops and theaters.
Back then, the diner was a popular hangout for black bankers, doctors and blue-collar workers. Jazz greats Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald could be found enjoying chili half-smokes and milkshakes after performing at nearby clubs.
Now, the crowd at the Washington landmark is sometimes mostly white, reflecting a neighborhood metamorphosis characterized by high-end condominiums and businesses like Starbucks.
“Sometimes you look around and wonder, ‘Where are all the black people?’” said Virginia Ali, who opened the diner with her husband, Ben, in 1958.
A similar transformation is happening across Washington as the black population declines and more white residents and other ethnic groups move in. Demographers say if the trend continues the District of Columbia could lose its longtime majority-black status within 10 years. The changes are shaking up city politics, reshaping neighborhoods and displacing longtime residents.
Washington’s black population peaked at 71 percent in 1970 as tens of thousands of white residents left for the suburbs, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. But by 2006, the estimated number of black residents had fallen to 57 percent.
At the same time, the population of white residents, which plunged from 65 percent in 1950 to 27 percent 30 years later, is growing. By 2006, the census estimated that 38 percent of D.C. residents were white. The city’s Asian and Hispanic populations also are climbing.
Analysts attribute the shift to lower-income and middle-class black residents leaving for the suburbs while young white professionals and others able to afford expensive housing are moving in. The newcomers to D.C. are being lured by a robust economy, new condos and a chance to escape worsening highway congestion.
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