West Virginia Black Population Story
1.8 Million – (94% White, 4% Black)
Beckley – 16,000+ (72% White, 21% Black)
Bluefield – 10,000+ (73% White, 27% Black)
Charleston – 50,000+ (78% White, 15% Black)
Huntington – 49,000+ (87% White, 9% Black)
County Poverty Rate:
Beckley/Raleigh County – 18% (Around Fayette Street)
Bluefield/Mercer County – 20% (NorthSide)
Charleston/Kanawha County – 14% (West Side and RuffnerAve)
Huntington/Cabell County – 20% (East of Hal Greer)
Littlepage Terrace, Charleston.
Beckley – $36,000
Bluefield – $32,000
Charleston Metro Area – $45,000
Huntington Metro Area – $43,000
Beckley – 2,500+ (2,000 have less than 20 employees)
Bluefield – 2,300+ (2,000 have less than 20 employees)
Charleston – 5,000+ (4,000 have less than 20 employees)
Huntington – 7,000+ (6,000 have less than 20 employees)
Black Owned Businesses:
Beckley – 5%
Bluefield – 9%
Charleston – 4%
Huntington – 5%
West Virginia Black Population Areas:
Beckley – The East Side around Fayette St known as East Beckley
Bluefield – South Side/Bland Street and North Side/Bluefield Ave
Bluefield, West Virginia
Charleston – West Side, East Side (Ruffner Ave), Orchard Manor, and Littlepage Terrace and Washington Manor Projects, West Virginia’s first housing projects in the late 30s. Currently the city of Charleston is planning on rebuilding most of the black community on the city’s West Side. Littlepage originally for white families and half of Washington Manor was for black families.
Huntington – Hal Greer Blvd, Northcott Court, and the Fairfield area. Like Charleston, the black community and other areas of Fairfield, are being renovated, with the city demolishing most of the Northcott Court Projects.
Northcott housing projects in Huntington, WV.
West Virginia Black Population History:
Blacks have lived in the state of West Virginia since the 1800s, with most working in the coal mines, first as slaves and later as freed men.
The population continued to expand during the early part of the 1900s, even though some families left for jobs in the northern states, like Ohio and Michigan, during the 1940s and 1950s.
In the beginning (late 1800s – early 1900s) most resided in the southern part of the state, due to the opportunities in the coal mines.
To cut cost many coal companies hired and recruited African-Americans from nearby states, mainly Virginia. These companies would build and rent homes and would create small towns for black families and workers to live.
Today, the West Virginia black population is equal to 4%, with extremely small communities throughout the state in small cities and small towns.
Beckley, West Virginia
*Note: All information is provided through people of the community, outside sources, and research. Some information might not be current and/or 100% accurate.