Producer: 'We've quarantined black folks to several communities'

WCCO producer tells Paul & Jordana a study that ranks the Twin Cities 4th-worst for blacks is spot-on

Paul and Jordana
November 19, 2018 - 5:26 pm

Sheletta Brundidge

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A recent study by 24/7 Wall Street ranked the Twin Cities as the fourth worst area in the country for African Americans. They used eight different measured statistics provided by the the U.S. Census Bureau to rank metropolitan areas. Those statistics included median household income, poverty, homeownership and unemployment rates.

So why do the Twin Cities rank so poorly? African American income is only 41.5% of white income. Unemployment amongst the African American community in the Twin Cities is at 12.3% where white unemployment is only 3.9%. And while whites own homes at a rate of 75.8%, African Americans own homes at only 24.6%.

WCCO Producer Sheletta Brundidge, an African American wife and mother, told Paul and Jordana, “I live in Cottage Grove. I have to drive an hour to go to church, because the church that I attend is predominantly African American.”

And that’s not an uncommon occurrence in her community. “Most of my friends who live out in the suburbs have to drive an hour, hour and a half,” Brundidge said, “Why? Because there are no African Americans living in our community. We have quarantined black folks, if you want to get real honest about it, to several communities.”

How does that happen? “If you’re in North Minneapolis and you’re making $31 thousand a year, where are you going to go?” said Brudndige, “Where are you going to buy property? Who’s going to sell you a house when you go to the bank with this income statement? You’re stuck.”

And that leads to a cycle of poverty. “And when you’re stuck, and everybody around you is stuck and you don’t have the income and there’s no tax base, then your schools are bad,” Brundidge told Paul and Jordana, “And that’s where we get the pipeline to prison.”

So what needs to happen to better diversify the Twin Cities? “It starts when people start talking about it. We just had a midterm election and nobody was talking about this,” said Brundidge, “We can’t keep turning a blind eye. We can’t keep acting like it’s not going on. We can’t keep being concerned about things like immigration and border patrol when we’ve got brown and black folks starving to death in our own community. It’s time that we start holding our leadership accountable so they can come up with some solutions to fix this problem.”

Hear the entire interview with Paul and Jordana: