The Black Middle Class
Atlanta has a well-organized Black upper class that exerts its power in politics, business, academia, and historically, in the religious arena. The average median household income for Black residents in metro Atlanta is $41,047, which is roughly 74 percent of the average income of all residents of metro Atlanta. Nationally, that ratio is 67 percent – U.S. median household income for all residents is $50,221; for Black residents it is $33,632. Over 51 percent of Black families in Atlanta own their home, the 2009 Census reports.
Since 1973, Atlanta has consistently elected Black mayors, and two in particular have been prominent on the national political stage, Andrew Young and Maynard Jackson.
Theroot.com reported in 2010: “While young, gifted and Black talent thrives in Atlanta like practically no other city in the country, some question whether African-Americans really run Atlanta.”
Sam Massell, the last white mayor of Atlanta since Maynard Jackson was elected in 1974, said: ”The African-American community definitely manages the politics of our city, the city of Atlanta proper. But much of the finances, I would say, are still with the whites.”