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Friday, Oct. 14, 2022
We’re back with the next installment of the Changing Charlottesville series, where we explore some of the history and recent changes within the city and the people living its 19 neighborhoods.
(If you missed it last week, read our introduction to the project here.)
This week, we’re taking a look at Johnson Village, a neighborhood that became part of the city during a tumultuous time for Charlottesville.
In 1963, the city annexed thousands of acres of land from Albemarle County, growing the city’s boundary to what it is today. Most of the land we now know as Johnson Village was part of that annexation, as well areas of The Meadows, Greenbrier, Fry’s Spring and Belmont.
While the city added neighborhoods like Johnson Village, it destroyed others.
One year after Johnson Village was added to Charlottesville, the city tore down Vinegar Hill and moved some of the residents to Westhaven, the city’s first public housing community. Some Black families tried to move into Johnson Village, but for years, they were denied, said Ray Bell, then a member of the local chapter of the NAACP.
Black families eventually moved to the neighborhood, said Bell. A decade ago, Black residents made up about 30% of Johnson Village’s population, according to Census data. But by 2020, they made up just 18%. In the same time period, Hispanic and Latino families have gone from making up zero to 15% of the neighborhood’s population. But it’s also getting whiter.
This shift in demographics by race and ethnicity is just one of the stories recent Census data tells us about Johnson Village. Read on for a few more.
And keep an eye out for even more. We’ll publish new neighborhood profiles each week, plus an interactive dashboard so that you can explore the data, too. Here’s what we’ve published so far:
On a different note, if you’re a seasoned reporter interested in covering issues in the Charlottesville area, our newsroom is hiring! We’re seeking a reporter to cover public institutions in Charlottesville and the surrounding counties, serving local communities and getting their voices to the rest of the country. Not a reporter? Please help us spread the word.
Thanks for joining us!
Erin O’Hare, neighborhoods reporter
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