- Emmett P. Tracy
In 1860 when the slave population had reached its height, North Carolina ranked eighth among the eleven states that in 1861 formed the Confederacy by having a slave-to-white ratio of 52 to 100 (South Carolina ranked highest, with a ratio of 140 to 100). By 1880 the percentage of African Americans in North Carolina had peaked at close to 40 percent. Each subsequent decade witnessed a considerable decline. Black men and women in North Carolina pioneered opportunities for blacks in banking, insurance, and education, while taking a leading role in the civil rights movement, but censuses show that blacks’ percentage of the population has declined steadily from 1880.
About ten counties in North Carolina Anson Granville Halifax Northampton Edgecombe Warren Hertford Bertie Washington and Martin have a substantial African American population Fourteen counties primarily in the western section of the state are less than 10 percent black Segregation and ...
A version of this article originally appeared in The Encyclopedia of African American History, 1896 to the Present.