ArkansasCity Stories

Pine Bluff, AR

The Pine Bluff Arkansas Ghetto:

Never Before Seen Look Inside the Bluff…

In the small Arkansas city of Pine Bluff much is not known other than the negative labels that society has given the city, from the “Poorest City” to the “Most Dangerous City”.

A impoverish city divided between the East Side and West Side with the South Side being the more affluent side of town, Pine Bluff has become a shell of itself.

Pine Bluff Black History

In the near vicinity of today’s Pine Bluff was a region that was home to Arkansas’ largest slave plantations, within the Arkansas Delta.

During the city’s early days, from the 1800s to the early 1900s, the city of Pine Bluff was once known as the mecca for African-Americans in “The Delta”, both in Arkansas and Mississippi.

Pine Bluff was once locally known for the heavy concentration of blues musicians and black entrepreneurs that led to some to refer the business community as a “Black Wall Street”.

pine bluff black history

Mural in downtown representing the Pine Bluff black history

The city of Pine Bluff has had a long history of black excellence that has included entrepreneurs, scholars, musicians and black soldiers that fought in the Civil War.

Unfortunately, around World War I is when the state of Arkansas began to transition as the city of Little Rock became the more popular and attractive city for African-Americans.

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What Happen to Pine Bluff Arkansas Ghetto

The city of Pine Bluff began to decline during as a large portion of the city’s white population began to relocate into the neighboring city of White Hall, Pine Bluff’s suburb.

The city of White Hall was established during the 1960s and by the 1970s the small city had a population of 1,000.

With every decade a substantial number of citizens exit the city, the loss of a tax base has made the revenue of property, sales, and income tax to be on a constant decline.

pine bluff gangs pine bluff arkansas ghetto

Pine Bluff gangs tagging on an abandoned property.

As the city furthered transformed into the Pine Bluff Arkansas ghetto during the 1990s and 2000s, poverty in the city increased as today the poverty rate is 33% with an average income of $17,000 despite 64% of the businesses are black owned.

Currently, Pine Bluff’s only claim to fame is the Historical Black College of the University of Arkansas – Pine Bluff.

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*Note: All information is provided through people of the community, outside sources, and research. Some information might not be current and/or 100% accurate.