Louis have remained almost all white, while the white population share of the city of St.
Louis itself has been stable and has even started to grow. Louis’s downtown area and neighborhoods west of it to the city border went from 36 percent white in 2000 to 44 percent white in 2010.
The pastor then gathered the owner and his neighbors for a prayer meeting, after which the owner told the agent he was no longer opposed to a black buyer. Louis ghetto and working as an assistant principal of a school in Wellston, an all-black St.
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But it had some multifamily buildings that attracted renters from St. By 1980, Ferguson was 14 percent black; by 1990, 25 percent; by 2000, 52 percent; and by 2010, 67 percent. Louis were similarly experiencing an increasing share of black residents during this period.
Meanwhile, suburbs beyond the first ring to the south and west of St.
White flight certainly existed, and racial prejudice was certainly behind it, but not racial prejudice alone.
Government policies turned black neighborhoods into overcrowded slums and white families came to associate African Americans with slum characteristics.
The conventional explanation adds that African Americans moved to a few places like Ferguson, not the suburbs generally, because prejudiced real estate agents steered black homebuyers away from other white suburbs.
And in any event, those other suburbs were able to preserve their almost entirely white, upper-middle-class environments by enacting zoning rules that required only expensive single family homes, the thinking goes.
This arrangement persisted until 1975 – several years after the Williams family moved into their white Ferguson neighborhood – when federal courts ordered Berkeley, Ferguson, and other white towns to integrate their schools into a common district with Kinloch.3 Other African Americans followed the Williams family by purchasing homes in Ferguson, but the African American community grew slowly. Louis Housing Authority gave relocation assistance to displaced families. Part I: Historic Contexts, 8 – The African-American Experience.” The City of St.
In 1970, shortly after the family moved to Ferguson, the city’s population was less than 1 percent black. It is likely that some of those families moved to Ferguson and other inner-ring suburbs.
Within that area, whites are now a solid majority in some neighborhoods for the first time in decades.4 The following pages tell the story of how St. Louis over the last century was duplicated in almost every metropolis nationwide.
Louis became such a segregated metropolis, where racial boundaries continually change but communities’ racial homogeneity persists. Louis and other metropolitan areas maintain segregation patterns established by public policy a century ago. Yet this story of racial isolation and disadvantage, enforced by federal, state, and local policies, many of which are no longer practiced, is central to an appreciation of what occurred in Ferguson in August 2014 when African American protests turned violent after police shot and killed an unarmed black 18-year-old.
This history, however, has now largely been forgotten.