Sohn: Blacks left behind during Scenic City renaissance

Casey Smith, left, Zack Umbarger and Abi Wright play volleyball one recent evening on the Jefferson Heights Park court in the 1800 block of Jefferson St., a newly gentrified neighborhood in Chattanooga's Southside.

In large measure, the issues that kept Chattanooga blacks down in 1968 are still with us in 2015.

That means, of course, that those same issues are keeping all of us in Chattanooga down - despite the city's renaissance, of which we are so proud.

From 2000 to 2013, poverty for black children rose from 27 percent to 38 percent.

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Some 56 percent of black single mothers here live in poverty compared to 33 percent of white single mothers. In all, 36 percent of blacks in Chattanooga live in poverty, compared with 14.5 percent of whites. And in Chattanooga's 11 low-income neighborhoods - where 73 percent of residents are black - the average poverty rate is a whopping 63.5