Magazine article Black Enterprise

The South Rises Again

Magazine article Black Enterprise

The South Rises Again

Article excerpt

We learned something interesting this year when we developed (and updated) our "Top Cities for African Americans." The South is on the move--again. When we first announced this list in 2001, four out of the 10 cities were in the South; this year, seven out of 10 are below the Mason-Dixon Line. We discovered an overall trend of blacks returning to the South.

"African Americans flooded the North at the turn of the 20th century to find better jobs and economic opportunities, and now we're returning to the South at the turn of the 21st century because of the same reasons," explains Editor-at-Large Carolyn M. Brown. "It's African American residents who are making these cities in the South charming places to live today. Because of them, we are returning to our Southern roots."

People are attracted to the quality of life, particularly in terms of homeownership and real estate. As many of the Northeastern cities become increasingly crowded with very little land space, the South is becoming especially attractive because of that old adage: "You get more bang for your buck." For about $350,000, you might purchase a small, two-bedroom condominium or co-op in a decent neighborhood up North. But for that same price, you might buy a small mansion with a huge backyard in the South, which is particularly attractive when starting a family.

Even our company couldn't escape the rich opportunity of Southern cities. Although BLACK ENTERPRISE is headquartered in New York City, for nine years, our annual Entrepreneurs Conference (an event where CEOs from our BE 100s companies network with future entrepreneurs and small business owners) has been held in the South--Orlando, Florida; Nashville, Tennessee; and Dallas. …

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