In any case this article via Capitol Fax discusses the Black population of a southern city, Atlanta, has exceeded that of Chicago.
This reversal of the ''Great Migration'' is one of the findings of a Brookings Institution Study, ''The State of Metropolitan America,'' released over the weekend.This article discusses a potential power shift as blacks move away from Chicago. In particular moving more to the suburbs than anywhere else. This article from April 23, 2010 is courtesy of the Chicago News Cooperative:
In 1990, metropolitan Atlanta's black population ranked seventh in the nation. By 2000, it was fourth. And by 2008, Census estimates put Atlanta in second with 1.669 million African-Americans, eclipsing Chicago's 1.667 million. The New York City area remains the largest concentration of African-Americans, with 3.1 million.
Whether you’re Mayor Richard M. Daley or Mayor-In-His-Mind-Rahm Emanuel, no voting group is more important for a Democrat than the city’s African-Americans. Increasingly, there are fewer of them.I wonder if anyone could consider this a positive development. One way to look at this is that if suburban communities and urban communities are linked or at least communities of various races and ethnicities we could see more competitive races. As far as Chicago congressional races go, they're not that competitive currently whether we discuss Democratic contests especially. Forget about Republicans!
By 2008, the last year for this data, it was down to 936,505, more than a 10 percent drop. The suburban Cook figure is up to 381,886. As a whole, the 2010 city population will probably show a very small drop from the 2,896,000 in the 2000 Census, largely due to a boom in the number of Hispanics.
Ken Johnson, my pro bono data subcontractor, was a longtime demographer at Loyola University and is now plying his trade at the University of New Hampshire. He notes that the decline in the number of blacks is due to a net exodus since black births still outnumber deaths, and that blacks remain the city’s biggest group, at 34.2 percent, compared with 31.3 percent of whites and 28.1 percent Hispanics.
There is also, he said, gentrification of traditionally black areas like the South Loop and Bronzeville. And, finally, there’s the exit of some displaced by dramatic changes in public housing, from the Robert Taylor Homes and other demolished projects, though the net number appears small. The notion of a big exit is an “urban myth,” Mr. Burns said.
When it comes to big-city declines in the number of blacks, there is the prospect of less influence in determining elected officials in those cities. There is also, as State Senator Kwame Raoul puts it, the possibility of diminished power in the allocation of resources, namely who gets the most public transportation, public construction and education money.
The rubber meets the road in other ways, including the primal political act of reshaping legislative and Congressional districts. When maps were redrawn after the 2000 Census, the goal of maintaining de facto black districts necessitated greater creativity in linking different communities. In the case of black legislators, it meant linking black strongholds with white areas not seen as engaging in racial-bloc voting, meaning they’d be open to voting for a black.
So Mr. Burns’s district stretches from 74th Street and Grand Crossing on the South Side to 1300 North on the Gold Coast. Similarly, State Representative Annazette Collins’s district runs from the West Side to Bucktown.
When the Democrats in Springfield redraw the Congressional maps this time, bet that a few more black districts will link city and suburban areas. The likelihood of Illinois losing a seat in Congress and the need to acknowledge booming Hispanic growth, may imperil an existing black Congressional seat in the city.