This City in Tennessee Has Been Named the Most Racist City in the State


Tennessee has a rich and complicated history of racism, slavery, segregation, and civil rights movements. These events’ legacy continues to affect the state’s social, economic, and political reality to this day.

While racism is not restricted to a single city or region, several areas have been classified as more racist than others based on a variety of signs and experiences. In this post, we’ll look at which Tennessee community has been designated the state’s most racist, and why.

Criteria for Measuring Racism

Racism is a diverse and subtle phenomenon that impacts different groups and individuals in unique ways, therefore there is no definitive or objective way to assess it. However, some feasible criteria for assessing racism in a city are:

  • The population’s racial composition and diversity
  • The history and prevalence of hate groups and hate crimes.
  • Race-based inequities and inequalities in education, health, income, and justice outcomes.
  • Racial minorities’ representation and engagement in politics, media, and culture.
  • Residents’ views and opinions about racial issues and groupings.
  • Using these criteria, we may compare and contrast various cities in Tennessee to determine which are high or low on the racism scale.

The Most Racist City in Tennessee

According to a recent analysis by [24/7 Wall St.], a financial news and commentary website, Cleveland is Tennessee’s most racist city. The survey rated the most racist cities in each state according to the following criteria:

  • The percentages of white and black residents
  • The Black-White Income Gap
  • The Black-White Unemployment Gap
  • The Black-White Homeownership Gap
  • The Black-White Incarceration Gap

According to the survey, Cleveland, a community of roughly 44,000 inhabitants in Tennessee’s southern region, has the state’s highest racial gaps. Some of the significant discoveries include:

  • Cleveland has 84.4% whites and 6.8% blacks, compared to state norms of 74.6% and 16.8%, respectively.
  • Black inhabitants in Cleveland have a median household income of $23,483, which is less than half that of white residents, who have $48,316. The statewide averages are $36,618 and $54,452, respectively.
  • In Cleveland, the unemployment rate for black inhabitants is 14.9%, more than double that of white ones (6.4%). The statewide averages are 9.9% and 4.3%, respectively.
  • Black inhabitants in Cleveland have a homeownership percentage of 28.9%, which is less than half of the 66.4% for white residents. The state averages are 72.3% and 42.2%, respectively.
  • In Cleveland, the imprisonment rate for black inhabitants is 3,379 per 100,000, more than six times that of white citizens (537 per 100,000). The statewide averages are 2,306 and 453, respectively.
  • These figures reveal that Cleveland has a significant and persistent racial disparity in economic, social, and justice outcomes, showing a high level of structural and institutional racism in the community.

Reasons for Racism in Cleveland

The survey by 24/7 Wall St. does not include any explanations or analyses for why Cleveland is the most racist city in Tennessee, but some plausible factors include:

  • The region’s historical history of slavery, segregation, and discrimination, built and perpetuated racial hierarchies and disparities over generations.
  • The city’s lack of racial variety and integration inhibits exposure and contact between different ethnic groups, perpetuating ignorance and prejudice.
  • The presence and activities of white supremacist and extremist groups in the region, such as the Ku Klux Klan, advocate and propagate hatred and violence against racial minorities.
  • Resistance and backlash to social change and development, such as the civil rights movement, Black Lives Matter, and Barack Obama’s victory, instill dread and fury in some white citizens who perceive racial minorities’ empowerment and visibility as a danger.
  • The local government, institutions, and leaders’ failure and unwillingness to address and remedy the city’s racial problems and challenges, such as implementing anti-racist policies, programs, and initiatives, or acknowledging and apologizing for past and present injustices and harms inflicted on racial minorities.

These reasons, among others, contribute to the continuance and prevalence of racism in Cleveland, which is Tennessee’s most racist city.


Cleveland, Tennessee, has emerged as the state’s most racist city, with significant racial gaps in income, employment, homeownership, and imprisonment rates. The city is plagued by structural racism, which stems from historical legacies, a lack of ethnic variety, and the possible impact of extremist organizations. Addressing these difficulties requires comprehensive measures to promote justice and unity, such as policy reforms and community participation.

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