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Reconsidering the Southern Black Belt

Author

Listed:
  • Gibbs, Robert M.

    (US Department of Agriculture)

Abstract

The portion of the South known as the Black Belt lies at the heart of what was once the cotton-and-tobacco plantation region and retains a large black population. Despite the Black Belt's high poverty rates and relatively slow economic growth, its large net loss of blacks to urban areas over the course of the twentieth century has effectively ended and more are now returning. Rural southern blacks still face a low-wage economy and their prospects are conditioned by a legacy of both southern agricultural paternalism and, due to interregional migration, inner-city decline. A number of writers have noted the importance of familial and community ties for returnees and express cautious optimism about their abilities to further erode the region's old social and economic barriers. More generally, anti-poverty strategies in the Black Belt, public and private, will be successful only insofar as they are sensitive to the social exclusion that continues to restrict the full participation of blacks in rural southern labor markets and civil society.

Suggested Citation

  • Gibbs, Robert M., 2003. "Reconsidering the Southern Black Belt," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 33(3), pages 254-263.
  • Handle: RePEc:rre:publsh:v:33:y:2003:i:3:p:254-63
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    File URL: http://journal.srsa.org/ojs/index.php/RRS/article/view/69/20
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David L. Barkley, 1995. "The Economics of Change in Rural America," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 77(5), pages 1252-1258.
    2. Barkley, David L. & Henry, Mark S. & Bao, Shuming, 1998. "The Role of Local School Quality in Rural Employment and Population Growth," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 28(1), pages 81-102, Summer.
    3. William Levernier & Mark D. Partridge & Dan S. Rickman, 2000. "The Causes of Regional Variations in U.S. Poverty: A Cross-County Analysis," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 473-497.
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    Cited by:

    1. Henry, Mark S., 2004. "Southern Regional Science in Interstitial Space: Fellows Address: Southern regional Science Association, April 2004," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 34(1), pages 1-10.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Population; Rural; Urban;

    JEL classification:

    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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