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Descendants fight to maintain historic Black communities. Keeping their legacy alive is complicated

Associated Press

DAUFUSKIE ISLAND, S.C. (AP) — Historic Black communities have dwindled from their once-thriving existence in the United States and efforts to preserve what’s left encounter complicated challenges. The incorporated towns were founded by formerly enslaved people and often had their own churches, schools, stores and economic systems. A decrease in the number of these settlements is due in part to amended local ordinances, uneven tax rates, home devaluations and political fights that leave communities vulnerable to developers and rampant gentrification. Researchers estimate fewer than 30 historic Black towns are left, compared to more than 1,200 at the peak about a century ago. While some enclaves stand up to outside forces looking to repurpose the land, others find compromise that keeps the historical legacy alive.

Article Topic Follows: AP-National

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Associated Press


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