Wednesday 30 November 2022
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DC’s Black Population Drops Below 50 Percent for the First Time in Years

By Danielle Ledbetter and Kaylah Waite



A street in the Shaw neighborhood shows the contrast between the old and new in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Kaylah Waite/

( – Washington, D.C., the nation’s capital, was one of the Blackest cities in the United States during the 1970s. The population of African Americans peaked at 71.1 percent, and everyone from residents to radio personalities began calling it the “Chocolate City.” Parliament even released an album and single titled “Chocolate City” as a tribute to the nation’s capital with its “vanilla suburbs.”

Since then, however, census figures have shown a steady decline in the population of Black residents — many of whom wonder whether the District of Columbia can still be labeled the Chocolate City.

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