A recent Daily News article focuses on Brooklyn’s increase in the Black population—a large part of which is Caribbean—and how it constitutes the biggest percentage jump in New York City, changing the city’s landscape from Old Mill Basin to Marine Park with Caribbean groceries and other new establishments. According to CUNY’s Center for Urban Research, more than 3,500 black residents have moved to the area in the last 10 years.
The black population is surging in what was traditionally one of the whitest corners of southern Brooklyn, census data show. The number of black residents shot up 241% in Mill Basin, Georgetown, Bergen Beach and Marine Park – the biggest percentage point jump in the city. [. . .] The biggest transformation has taken place in Old Mill Basin—between Ralph and Flatbush Aves.—where African-American and Caribbean families have moved in in place of mostly elderly white residents.
“It’s the natural progression of things,” said Councilman Lew Fidler, who represents the neighborhood. “The neighborhoods to the north of it had already seen that change … Flatlands and East Flatbush before it, have evolved from middle class white communities into middle class black communities, and that trend continues.”
CUNY Mapping Service Director Steven Romalewski said the growth is part of a bigger eastward shift in the borough: “There’s a general eastward shift of the white population,” he said. “The black population … is also moving eastward.” White residents are moving from brownstone Brooklyn into traditionally black neighborhoods like Bedford-Stuyvesant, while black residents move further east to East New York, Canarsie, Flatlands, and traditionally white enclaves like Old Mill Basin.
“This neighborhood has completely turned from white to black,” said Tallulah Oliva, 54, who has lived on E. 59th for 25 years. “It’s not the way it used to be. I’m the only Italian on the block … All the white people moved out to Bergen Beach and Jersey.”
Dominique Dennis, 42, said he was drawn to Old Mill Basin by word of mouth when he moved from Haiti eight years ago, though he still travels to Church and Nostrand Aves. in Flatbush to shop for Caribbean groceries. “I moved here because I heard it’s a good neighborhood—it’s quiet,” he said. “I got good neighbors.”
The broader area is now 10.9% black, up from 3.4% 10 years ago. The Asian population has also jumped 56% and the Hispanic population 45% as the area becomes more diverse. The number of whites has dropped 9%.