Blacks and Whites in Fort Lauderdale


     The Nation is talking about race. The talk has been generated due to the possibility of the first African-American President, or more accurately, the first Mulatto President (Senator Obama’s father was Black and his mother White).

     And talking about race is important, and uncomfortable. We baby boomers grew up in an America where the color of one’s skin did matter. We still remember the race riots of the 1960’s, the assassination of Dr. King, and forced busing.

     On the other hand, there is no question that the Country has come a long way since then. There are the most obvious signs: it is no longer socially acceptable to utter racial epithets, (the “N” word has been erased from usable public language), and most folks now disregard bigots and racists. And there are the more substantial improvements, such as more attention to inner-city schools, and better opportunities of upward mobility for Blacks.

     So all this got me thinking about our town, and how much progress we have made in the issue of the racial divide. And it led me to the map below. It describes the demographic make-up of our City – by geography.

     It shows that though we may have made progress in disregarding color as important to the judging of one’s character, we still don’t live together.

     This is a map of the City.

     The darkest area in the map is where most of the Blacks in Fort Lauderdale live. Those boundaries are basically west of Federal Highway, between Broward Blvd. and Sunrise Blvd., and run to the City’s western border at US 441. Some of the neighborhoods in this section are 90% or more Black. 

     The lightest areas on the map have the fewest concentration of Black citizens. Many of these neighborhoods are as much as 95% or more White. The medium shades on the map are diverse to some degree, but generally are either predominately Black, or predominately White. 

     Does it matter? ….Will it change over time?…. Does it need to? ….I’m curious what you think.