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Affluent African-Americans are leaving industrial cities for the suburbs and the South shifting traditional lines between rich and poor, according to new study.
Their migration is widening the income gap between whites and the inner-city black population who remain behind, while making African-Americans less united as a group and subject to greater income disparities.
Roderick Harrison, a Howard University sociologist and former chief of racial statistics at the Census Bureau, said: ‘Reverse migration is changing the South and its race relations.’
He said a rising black middle class is promoting a growing belief among some black conservatives that problems of the disadvantaged are now rooted more in character or cultural problems, rather than race.
However Mr Harrison said most black Americans maintain a strong racial identity, focused on redressing perceived lack of opportunities.
This is in part because many of them maintain close ties to siblings or other blacks who are less successful.