Black residents leaving Pittsburgh at alarming rate, citing lack of opportunities

PITTSBURGH — According to the U.S. Census, 7,000 people of color have moved out of Pittsburgh between 2014 and 2018.

Compared to communities in the Pittsburgh region, that is half the population of Wilkinsburg or one-third of the population of Peters Township.

Channel 11 reached out to members of the Black community to find out why the migration is happening, and what can be done to keep more people of African American decent, in our city.

“I left Pittsburgh in 2014. I now live in Columbia, South Carolina,” said Anitra Bolton, former Pittsburgh resident.

Bolton explained to Channel 11, she had better career opportunities in South Carolina and housing is more affordable.

“As a Black woman, there wasn’t enough activities and programs geared towards Black woman. Just like everything else, we were at the bottom of the totem pole,” said Bolton.

A number of Black men spoke with Channel 11 about the migration, and they explained their perspective.

“I’ve lived in Pittsburgh for 25 years.”

“Economically, there’s been a lot of opportunities here, particularly for young black professionals.”

Randy Taylor is a long-time Pittsburgh resident. He sees the steel city as a community of opportunity. “I love Pittsburgh,” said Taylor.

“I work for the Port Authority, that is one place that definitely as far as equal opportunity, I see a lot of Black people in prominent positions of management,” said Taylor.

You can learn more about the different perspectives among the Black community by watching Michele Newell’s report in the video at the top of this article.