Culture

Desoto, TX is a haven for affluent African-Americans. Now they have to keep it that way!

H/T reader Kay M.

Image via screenshot.

Image via screenshot.

According to NBCDWF.com’s article,
Since 2000-2010, there’s been a large migration of African-Americans to North Texas,” Sherman said. “In fact we’re the leading [community] second only to Atlanta for the migration from north to south. And many of those have chosen to live in the city of DeSoto because of the caliber of the citizens that we have here.”

According to the U.S. Census, 68 percent of people in DeSoto are black or African-American compared with 25 percent in Dallas and 18.9 percent in Fort Worth.

In 2013, the median household income in DeSoto is $60,945. The statewide average is $51,900. The average in Dallas is $42,846. Only nine percent of DeSoto residents live below the poverty line. Read the rest of the article here.

What is even more impressive is that over 50% of the businesses there are Black owned. Desoto, TX  is the kind of Black community I want to see all across this country. It does not have to be wealthy, but it must be place where Black people can thrive. I have to say something some African-Americans may not want to hear. Now they have to keep a certain element out.

What element am I talking about? Few will admit it, unlike what most racists and self-hating Blacks believe, there are different mindsets that exist within the Black population. We are not monolithic. Just like the majority of us have positive mindsets, there is a small, but vocal group that has a negative one. That negative group has the ability to destroy a community. Here is an example.

I live in the Memphis area. The city is 63% African-American with over 25% percent of its citizens living in poverty and a very high crime rate. The city of Memphis tore down several projects in Downtown Memphis because of redevelopment aka gentrification. They thought if low-income section eight African-Americans living in the projects were surrounded by working class and high-income African-Americans, low-income folks would adjust. Eventually, many of those people from the crime-ridden projects were moved to Hickory Hill. Prior to being mostly African-Americans, Hickory Hill was largely White. When the city annexed it, many of its White residents moved out, and high income and working class African-Americans moved in. Within a few years many of the vacant homes from the White owners became section eight rentals and that’s when everything changed.

You can move folks out of the projects, but you can’t move the projects out of some folks. The city’s social engineering project failed. Crime went up, and businesses have closed in Hickory Hill aka Hickory Hood. There are gangs in the schools and the only ones left are the people who cannot move and the section eight folks. One of Memphis’ great African-Americans  communities was ruined. Many affluent and working class African-Americans  have now moved out to the suburbs of Shelby County, TN (Cordova and Collierville) and into Desoto County, Mississippi. I am sure many of you have experienced the same thing in your communities too.

Call me elitist or whatever and I understand the collective need for unity, but I recognize all my skin folk ain’t kin folk. Our need for Black unity isn’t worth lowering my family’s or anyone else’s quality of life. I am not here to save diseased self-hating communities either. I am here to provide a better life for those who want it. Honestly, some people don’t want to be “saved.” If we were really unified, we wouldn’t want that element in our communities. Look, just because we are African-Americans  it does not mean we share the same outlook. I have nothing in common with the African-Americans drug dealer, gang member, multiple litter baby producer or any other person who wants to destroy my community except the fact that we are African-Americans . Those are the negative elements. So if you live in a community like Desoto, protect it.

How can the local citizens protect it? Run for political office. Join your local school boards. Go out to community meetings. Join neighborhood and community organizations. Just be active and invested in the future of your community. When citizens are active in their community, they are a force.

Do you think we can create more Desotos?

A revolution always begins between two ears. Start yours today.

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18 comments

  1. nh 4 March, 2015 at 15:18 Reply

    I have really good friends that live in the Desoto Area. What you must keep in mind about Desoto is that is a municipality (suburb) outside of a larger city (Dallas). While there are black businesses there, many still work in Dallas and other suburbs. One thing that individuals don’t know about DFW (unless you have lived there) is that it is still very racially segregated in some respects (the population of Dallas is 25% African American) thus, the references made in the article that deter whites from looking at real estate in Desoto, Duncanville, Cedar Hill and other southern suburbs. Communities such as Frisco and Allen (northern suburbs) have grown significantly because of people from other races (i.e. Caucasian people). I lived in both the northern and southern sectors of the Metroplex as well as attended school in Highland Park (one of the most affluent cities in the country) that is only 1% African American and literally blocks away from Downtown Dallas. The segregation is well documented. As a matter of fact here is an article that appeared in D Magazine a few years ago :

    http://www.dmagazine.com/publications/d-magazine/2012/may/why-young-black-professionals-are-wary-of-dallas?page=1

    Yes, Memphis has its share of problems as you mentioned but, there are African American communities such as Whitehaven (it’s the most affluent African American Community in the State of Tennessee) that doesn’t get the visibility or acknowledgement it rightfully deserves. There are black businesses in Whitehaven, stately homes in Whitehaven and very passionate citizens. I know this because of the extensive work I’ve done in the Whitehaven community. Is the something that can be built on? Absolutely. Is there opportunity for growth and prosperity? Absolutely. Think if one-third of African Americans in Shelby County are in poverty, what about the other two-thirds? What this means is that we need to do a better job of telling our stories and making ourselves more visible and engaged. Only then will you see more Desotos.

  2. Paris15 4 March, 2015 at 20:53 Reply

    This article irks me. I can understand not wanting to have section 8 folks “invade” your affluent suburban oasis but realistically, poor people-section 8 people-have no chance of moving from the hood to a $500,000 home when their section 8 stipend is only $400 a month . And working class Black folks won’t be moving there either. Unless we can invent our own segregated towns, we have to work within the establushed framework. Running for office is fine and dandy but it doesn’t accomplish very much. Blacks are just like whites. We elect them & never hear or see of anything useful they’ve done in office til they start stumping for reelection. How is the idea that the high class Blacks keeping out the lower classes any different than white folks putting a for sale sign in the yard when the new Black neighbors move in? Lots of affluent & working class people start out in the ghetto. So, should we forget from whence we came and ignore that poverty is a societal evil that many cannot escape? My neighborhood is diverse and it works just fine. I don’t think I’d want to live in an area where everyone is judged or has inflated ego because of how much house they can afford. My husband has been a business owner for 20 years. He gets many upwardly mobile, affluent Blacks as clients. Time and time again, we see bourgeois clients who are drowning in debt because they’re spending every dime to maintain appearances. I’ve been a homemaker for 15 years & many woman have said to me they wish they were able to stay home with their children but couldn’t because their paycheck was needed to cover the high cost of affluence.

    • reality_check 9 March, 2015 at 13:55 Reply

      Ok. What was the main point that you were making? Much as I disagree with BBG, she was right on this one. Section 8 acceptance is the death of ANY community. Trust me on that. In order for a community to maintain any quality of life, they MUST keep the section 8’ers OUT.
      Sorry to say it, but it is reality.

    • deena 10 March, 2015 at 15:49 Reply

      Pink, I feel your passion but BBG is spot on. This happens like clockwork. They move the Section 8ers to other african-american neighborhoods and there goes the neighborhood. Some times the new projects look better the people whove bought their homes only for them to tear it up. Desoto needs to protect themselves from ‘the element’. Thats why its important to be on the local boards so when they consider putting some new projects in, theyre not looking at Desoto. I would love to see more DeSoto’s as well. Living around black people isnt a problem. Its n*ggas who always mess things up. We have 40 years of proof at this point. The time is long gone for being captain save-a-negro. Better white people and white trash dont usually live side by side. Momma Zora said it best, ‘all my skin folk and my kin folk’.

    • Brian 25 February, 2016 at 11:35 Reply

      You keep hoodrats out by keeping your property value up. But the BEST way to keep out Section 8 and stay legal with it? Don’t build low cost apartments.

      If you want apartment style living, build luxury townhomes or condos instead. That’s how we legally keep the riff raff out of my suburb. The death of the community is when you start building $700/mo 2BR apartments and vouchers and stipends can cover the majority of those costs.

  3. Kalagenesis 27 May, 2015 at 20:41 Reply

    Yes you are right.I believe ultimately we need an independent nation state modeled on Black success,where we can be in control.No section 8,welfare and ignorance.

  4. trina jackson 27 May, 2015 at 20:48 Reply

    my name is Trina Jackson. I live in San Antonio Tx and I am in college majoring in communications. After I graduate from school I want to move to Desoto and start business there. I have a business plan for a credit union and a public relations firm. could someone there call me at 210-773-9482 if you have any information you can give or tell me about starting business, real estate such as buying a house and I want to get into the real estate business there as well in the future. please call me at 210-773-9482. Thank you

  5. review 6 January, 2016 at 05:22 Reply

    obviously like your web site but you have to check the
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  6. Brian 25 February, 2016 at 11:31 Reply

    Let’s be real here. Those of “that element” who are negative are not “a few” or “some”. It’s the majority. What’s rare is communities like DeSoto and what’s more common is blown out ghettos like Memphis, Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, etc. Cities that are just overran with you know who.

    Kudos to DeSoto and we need more of them. Maybe one day this could be the start of something good on the way to being the norm. But to start, we must take a single step.

    I remember hearing the same thing about Prince Georges County as being a mecca of black wealth and prosperity. But that area has suffered with bad decisions, lower property values, and infestation of “that element” bringing in their crime ridden ways. Couldn’t pay me enough to go live there.

  7. Natalie 4 March, 2016 at 00:10 Reply

    I agree with nh on telling our stories (history and present-day) and getting more engaged and visible in our community is the answer. I thank BBG for sharing this article, as a young black professional nurse new to this area (Sept 2013), i am seeking to provide my skillset to an arena that not only would develop ME professionally but provide a model to other blacks. We need to come together as a community and whether we like it or not those n*ggas are our neighbors especially when it comes to a lineup for a potential job offer or even at a restaurant. The only way to reach a n*gga is to lead by example but at a safe distance not to taint or stunt YOUR growth. Also those throwing shade on BBG’s grammatical errors should suggest an editor or extend those services yourself because that shade-throwing is the crux of our community’s stagnation. Readers are leaders. We need to dig and discover/publish our history that built this country. That history is hard to find or has been destroyed and we need to teach our children because the school system is not enlightening the potential of our youths. I could go on and on but am grateful for this website and kudos to you BBG. I look forward to working and volunteering with you aoon.

  8. Bren 13 June, 2016 at 23:33 Reply

    I have to start by saying that I am not black, but I have been a resident of Desoto for 15 years, that’s how I ended up reading this post. I can tell you that even though the city’s real estate contunues to grow and bloom because only new beautiful high end properties are being built in the city, bad things are already starting to happen in the nice old established neighborhoods like mine. Neighbors of all races (mostly whites) have moved away not because black people are moving in but for reasons like retirement, or have even passed away. Many of the ones left are eldery people. New families (mainly black) are buying some of the properties so those neighbors are caring people and their homes are well maintained, but unfortunately most of the homes left behind have been made available for lease, many owners don’t even live in North Texas anymore and have management companies handle their properties. Just to give you an idea, the home next door o ours is a pitbull backyard breeding business now, obviously because of the dogs, the fence is destroyed and it is constantly being patched up with old tires and other junk. In our neighborhood we access our garages through the back alley, the two homes behind my house are lease properties, I am not sure if sec8 but I can tell you that I have thought about moving out so I researched and found out that it looks like many of them cannot afford the monthly lease, (wich averages 1,200 a month in the neighborhood we live in), that’s probably why they have several families living together in one home. I understand doing whatever they can to move their kids from a bad neighborhood to a better one, the problem is that they are bringing their old bad neighborhood ways with them. The people living in the house exactly behind mine, have completely neglected the property. There is trash and junk everywhere, every time I drive out of my home I feel so sad and disturbed by the lack of appreciation for such a nice home. Since the kids living in the property have no yard to play in because it is filled with junk and probably unsafe, they decided to place a basketball hoop at the entrance of their steep driveway which is like 8 ft away from my fence. The balls keep getting inside our property and the kids ring my doorbell constantly to ask for them. I am a caregiver of a special needs child so I have a “no soliciting” sign on my door to avoid interruptions while homeschooling or tending to her, I have explained to the kids (pre teens and teens) that I can’t be responding to them constantly but they completely disregard it. They are rude and disrespectful, they’ve broken into my yard several times already, once by breaking a part of the fence and another time by forcing the gate open destroying the handle, just to get to their ball. Parts of my fence have also been broken and replaced because they are constantly hitting it. There used to be nice grass and flowers along my fence, each neighbor is responsible for keeping their side of the alley looking nice. The grass and landscaping doesn’t exist anymore. They have just stepped all over it and destroyed it. To make matters worst, the home next door to that one seems to be the home of several moms with several kids each so now there are always lots of teens gathering in the alley behind that home, I am not exageraing, about a dozen. They don’t move to let cars drive trough, they live their basketball hoop in the middle of the driveway so no traffic can go through. They throw their empty watter bottles and trash over my fence and my other neighbor’s fences as well. Our entire alley is covered with trash. I am all for kids being active and playing outdoors but these kids have no respect. Did I mention there is a beautiful park a block away? They still prefer to hang out in the alley by the trash cans. Their parents don’t care about city codes or guidelines, they don’t want to build good relationships with their neighbors because they probably think they won’t stay long, but they stay long enough to destroy everything around them. I don’t want to approach any of those families about their children’s behavior. I assume they already know and they just don’t care so I want to save myself from a bad scene and from making things worse. I feel like I am being scared out of my own home by people that don’t even own those homes.

    • Young But Retired 7 August, 2016 at 10:49 Reply

      I’m thankful for the article and the comments as well. Bren, your comment gives me some insight on what is happening there now. Sorry you’re having such a rough time. I assume there’s no HOA?
      After so many years in the military, I’m looking fwd to living in a neighborhood of successful Blacks and supporting Black businesses.
      DeSoto is certainly on my list of possibilities.

    • p&gwrldhopper 7 October, 2016 at 14:39 Reply

      Unfortunately, this happens a lot when people rent instead of own. They just don’t take as much pride in the neighborhood. I live in Prince George’s County, Maryland, which is considered the most affluent black-majority county in the U.S., but I live in a city that’s mostly white. A white family that lives across the street from me is renting their home, and the place is starting to really look rundown.

  9. Young But Retired 7 August, 2016 at 10:47 Reply

    I’m thankful for the article and the comments as well. Bren, your comment gives me some insight on what is happening there now. Sorry you’re having such a rough time. I assume there’s no HOA?
    After so many years in the military, I’m looking fwd to living in a neighborhood of successful Blacks and supporting Black businesses.
    DeSoto is certainly on my list of possibilities.

  10. black n proud 29 October, 2016 at 05:55 Reply

    I just want to say I have section 8 and I’m not ratchet or ghetto and my 2 kids are not either . I work and me and my kids stay to ourselves , also I keep a clean house with nice furniture I hate when people try to judge someone based on their finances just because I’m not making top dollar that doesn’t mean I want to live around ratchetnes , gangs , or any other foolishness . I want to be a homeowner one day living around decent and working families with respectful kids . so don’t judge all section 8 as BAD people because that’s not true ! I understand that you definitely have your bad ones but its all how you were raised or you just want to live that hood lifestyle

  11. Orlando Coombs 30 October, 2016 at 22:22 Reply

    I wouldn’t want no section 8 mother fuckers near me. Cause they will turn that place to shit in no time flat. All section 8 people ain’t bad, but they attract a bad element. They destroy property, they break everything, they’re very dirty and unkept, they litter and throw trash everywhere and engage in a lot of loathsome behavior that shuts them out of everything. I don’t fuck with them. A lot of them got their kids out in the street begging and misbehaving wherever they go. They’re undesirables. I love black people but I hate niggas. Those are niggas and nigresses. The way they behave is very inappropriate and outrageous. But black people I love. Decent, Hardworking, and Law Abiding black people. Love black people. I’m all for reaching out to help another brother or sister out in need whenever or however I’m able to. I don’t accept no excuses for black people not being amazing, not being in the right way, and not moving ahead in a positive way. When I see things like Urban Prep, Harlem Children’s Zone, and the robust growth of black entrepreneurship in congruence with a rise in the consciousness of the black community, I can’t accept anything less. The niggas and nigresses are really just the lost and misguided souls that we’ve allowed to fall by waistside. We can’t accept no bullshit from them nor make any excuses for them. We have to be a beacon of light unto them. We got to bring light to those in darkness. Niggas and nigresses are operating with a hellish mindstate. They are mentally and spirituality dead. Now we can help those who want help and wanna help themselves cause you can lead a horse to water but you can’t him drink. That Simple.

  12. Natalie 12 August, 2017 at 17:37 Reply

    I agree to an extent, because although the majority of blacks on section do come with the negative ghetto mindset, there are some who are hardworking, trying to better themselves, and want a better enviorment to raise their children, i think the best solution, is staying on top of small criminal infractions, so that theres a strong message being sent out that, “yeah we got our eye on you”, so that the riffraffs wont feel like they can lax enough to commit crimes and tear up the neighborhood. Ive lived in lancaster/ desoto area for almost 8 years now, and even the lower income areas are cool, cime rate is very very low, every blue moon there maybe some mess but its usually nipped in the bud real quick! I love, love, love the lancaster/desoto/ cedar hill area, mostly black working class descent people, i love it!

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