Can we change the narrative?

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I had the Help take a look at my census maps from 1880 to 1930 showing the racial make up of the blocks. 1890 is missing because that census got burned up in a fire long ago. He asked if I could try to piece the data together with city directories and I gave him the evil eye.

Anyway he compared them and said 1880 and 1910 the neighborhood looked pretty white, 1900 and 1920 it looks diverse and 1930 it is very black. It will be interesting to see what the 1940 census brings, but I guess the neighborhood becomes even more African American thus adding to the current narrative that this is an historically African American neighborhood. Which in 1930 it predominately was, no doubt.

However, I like the diverse neighborhood narrative. I have no illusions of thinking that people, black and white and the odd Chinese guy, lived in harmony. They may have, they may not have. Yet, I think looking at our neighborhood history with a focus on its racial diversity may be more helpful to those of us living in the present, with its diversity.

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