% Distribution of Blacks, 1980
To grasp the significance of the racial realignment of the Republican and Democratic parties, the geographic distribution of blacks in 1980 provides a useful guideline. The continuing geographic legacy of slavery is evident in the high concentrations of blacks in the Southern "Black Belt" (so named for its rich black soil, not for its racial composition) running from Virginia to the Mississippi. However, in contrast with 1880, blacks are also substantially represented in the Northeast corridor from Philadelphia through N.J., New York City to Hartford; along I-94 from Detroit to Chicago, and in scattered urban areas (e.g., Buffalo, Pittsburgh). Watch these areas closely in the final map on this tour.