DURHAM, N.C. -- Omar and Tanisha Beasley have been married for 17 years. They have three children and have lived in their Bradbury neighborhood home since 2011.
“It’s in a very diverse neighborhood,” Omar says.
However, it’s getting more expensive to stay there as their property taxes rise.
“When we moved here, our taxes were $2,667. But now, our taxes are about $3,200,” he says.
The working couple blames the rise on the city’s economic and population growth. They don’t feel priced out just yet, but say who knows what the future holds.
“If our salary doesn’t increase. Definitely. Because we’re going to get to that point where it’s going to be rough,” says Tanisha.
The Beasleys say many African-American families share their concerns. Gentrification is forcing out long-term residents who can no longer afford the taxes or the rent. Omar believes the trend favors White leaders more so than Black families.
“From slavery to Jim Crow, to now. It has not changed. They [White leaders] may sing a better song or pat us on the back,” he says.
The couple says the salary gap between Black and White communities make it harder for Black families to catch up. Omar wants city leaders to create more policies to help Black families find suitable housing. He says the city has to address the root causes of housing disparities like the wealth and racial gaps.
“Until we address the racial wealth gap, until we address salary differences between Black people and White people, we’re always going to have this issue,” he says.