Posted on January 6, 2010

No Longer Majority Black, Harlem Is in Transition

Sam Roberts, New York Times, January 6, 2010

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{snip} Since 2000, the proportion of whites living there [in central Harlem] has more than doubled, to more than one in 10 residents–the highest since the 1940s. The Hispanic population, which was concentrated in East Harlem, is now at an all-time high in central Harlem, up 27 percent since 2000.

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{snip} The 1990 census counted only 672 whites in central Harlem. By 2000, there were 2,200. The latest count, in 2008, recorded nearly 13,800.

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About 15 percent of Harlem’s black population is foreign-born, mostly from the Caribbean, with a growing number from Africa.

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Other analysts point to the outflow of some blacks and the influx of others as positive evidence that barriers to integration have fallen in other neighborhoods and that Harlem has become a more attractive place to live.

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Geneva Bain, the district manager of Community Board 10, {snip} acknowledged, though, that white newcomers have sometimes been greeted ambivalently. “Integration is very subjective,” Ms. Bain said. “One person’s fellowship is another person’s antagonism. I am one who thinks that central Harlem has become a better place because of integration.”

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