Both Brandon Manning and his wife were born in the southern United States and were eager to return, but Manning did not want to return to his hometown of Atlanta due to traffic, housing costs and sprawl. So when offered a teaching job at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, the couple decided to give the small town a chance.
They weren’t alone. The greatest growth in the African-American population in sheer numbers over the past decade has not occurred in Atlanta or Houston, long identified as hubs of black life, but rather in less congested cities with lower profiles: Fort Worth; Columbus, Ohio; Jacksonville, Florida; and Charlotte, North Carolina. Each gained between 32,000 and 40,000 new black residents from 2010 to 2020, according to 2020 census figures.