Thursday, June 16, 2005

Black Flight

Today I got a direct mail ad in the form of a big postcard from Kavanagh Homes, pitching their new development, Green Crest, in southeast Greensboro. It read thus:

Homes from the $125's

Nothing surprising there. Then I flipped the postcard over, and saw this:

I shouldn't have been surprised by the picture, either. I'm sure Kavanaugh did its market research, and was aiming at the main demographic of my part of town (northeast Greensboro).

Nor should I have been surpised at their pitch to young, successful African Americans, becasue it's part of a trend that's not at all new: lots of middle class blacks like the suburbs, just as white folks do, and move there when they can afford to.

An acquaintance of mine who lives in Greensboro's new Reedy Fork Ranch suburban development told me he liked its racial mix, and I have a black friend who's been warmly received in a very upscale development in exurban Summerfield. It's good to know that an influx of black homeowners won't always cause a mass exodus of whites any more.

I just hope some of them stay in the city and try to keep it a nice place to live, too.


Anonymous said...

One of the things I like about Reedy Fork is there is a nice racial mix. I think that's great.

Rob Ainbinder said...


I think you were intending to mention (and link to) the Greensboro based Kavanagh Homes? (The company responsible for Greencrest.)

I wonder, was Kavanagh Homes Web site address not on the mailing or, was this just a minor oversight?

David Wharton said...

They did include the website address on the mailing -- I just typed it in wrong!

Thanks for the correction.

Anonymous said...

I saw this when I lived in Atlanta -- it's not white flight anymore, it's economic flight -- middle & upper-middle class African-Americans moving to the suburbs.
The down side (my point of view) is that whole new "black" suburbs are being built there (full of mini-mansions, just like in the "white" suburbs), causing at least as much segregation as before, if not more. South DeKalb County and Fayette County (southeast of Atlanta) are filling up with new "black" developments of mini-mansions, leaving the northwest suburbs to get whiter & whiter. Weird dynamic in my opinion.
The up side was that when many of the run-down in-town neighborhoods emptied out, gay couples moved in & renovated & gradually desegregated the neighborhoods again (of course, many then cried "gentrificiation" -- can't please 'em all).

Rob Ainbinder said...


Is Randleman Rd really the burbs?
Could you recap your topic of this post? I was left wanting more.

David Wharton said...

Rob, here is where the development is. Still in the city limits, but in the "edge" area of development. I guess I'd call that suburban.

Glenwood said...

mr. Wharton, great post. I really enjoy reading your work. It was a wonderful point made tastefully.

David Wharton said...

Thanks Ben. I've been meaning to add the Troublemaker to my blogroll. I hope to get to know you better.

Anonymous said...

Just copy and paste this to your URL box and look at the Yr 2000 then Yr 2005.. What does that look like?

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