The Great Migration, slammed into reverse

“Candace Wilkins, 27, of St. Albans [a middle-class neighborhood in Queens], who remains unemployed despite having a business degree, plans to move to Charlotte, N.C.

“She said her decision was prompted by an altercation with the police.

“In March 2010, witnesses say, Ms. Wilkins was thrown against a car by a white police officer after she tried to help a black neighbor who was being questioned. She was charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct….

“ ‘Life has gone full circle,’ said Ms. Wilkins, whose grandmother was born amid the cotton fields of North Carolina and moved to Queens in the 1950s.

“ ‘My grandmother’s generation left the South and came to the North to escape segregation and racism,’ she said. ‘Now, I am going back because New York has become like the old South in its racial attitudes.’ ”

— From “For New Life, Blacks in City Head to South” on today’s New York Times front page

Hyperbolic generalizations aside, reverse migration has been well documented in census data. How long before it inspires its own  “The Chickenbone Special” or “The Warmth of Other Suns”?

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