Maybe you’re relocating to Phoenix, Arizona and you want to live in an area with other black people.
Or maybe you already live in Phoenix, but you’re not happy with the part of the valley you chose.
Whatever the reason that landed you here on this post, chances are you’re looking for some new insight to help you figure out where you should move next.
Phoenix is the 5th largest city in America. There are plenty of options to choose from, when considering residence. Where are the black people in Phoenix though? There are less than 10% of us here.
Keep reading, I’ll share some insight that will help you decide on and find the place for you as a black person living in Phoenix, Arizona.
When my partner and I decided to move to Phoenix in 2014, we had no idea where exactly in Phoenix we were going to live. We just knew we were moving to Phoenix.
We were looking for houses and apartments for rent all over the valley.
As a matter a fact, it wasn’t until a chance encounter with a fellow young black man and my partner at Fiesta Mall that gave us information to narrow our search for apartments to Tempe, Az.
We were in hotels for only a couple days, overwhelmed with the choice of where our new place could be. One morning we decided to go to a mall, hoping it would give us some clarity.
As we were leaving to go check out an apartment we saw online, we were crossing paths with a young black man. We greeted him and, long story short, we ended up in a conversation about pleasant areas in the valley for black people to live.
We all chopped it up about crime rates, police activity, entertainment, food, and more. It’s important to know everything you can know about a place you plan to live, if you want to live comfortably.
Here’s What You Need to Know About Different Areas of Phoenix, Arizona Before Moving
Short answer; black people are all over the valley. Some areas you’ll find more black people than others.
South Phoenix is described as the area of Phoenix, Az that is west of 32nd Street, east of 24th Street, south of the Salt River, and north of Roeser Road. This area is probably going to be the most cost friendly.
Numerous sources point to South Phoenix as the place with the highest concentration of black people. Prior to the 70’s, South Phoenix was the only part of the city in which Blacks were sold homes to.
When I first heard about South Phoenix it was connected to a lot of negativity like burgularized homes and poor air quality. One of my previous manager’s, who happened to be black, had to report a break in on a home she had just purchased in South Phoenix like 2016.
South Phoenix has had a lot of work and is home to a number of black owned businesses. Tremaine Jasper, owner of Phx Soul, is a resident of South Phoenix and he is encouraging other blacks to move to move back to South Phoenix.
He says our division around the city has weakened us as a community. Read more on why he believes we’re stronger together in South Phoenix here.
Chandler is a suburb in the east valley. It’s sits right in the middle of the Arizona capital, the Gila River Indian Community, Mesa, and Gilbert.
If you ask me, this is a great area to move for families and people, who like space. I got the chance to live in Chandler for a couple years, before welcoming kids. I left Tempe and moved to Chandler for a more peaceful area.
Chandler, was and still is fairly peaceful. They host vast amount of family friendly events and festivals throughout the year in their downtown area. There are a number a good sit down eateries for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s considered one of the best places to bike and walk by a notable Phoenix news blog.
It’s been said by a few local real estate professionals that more and more African Americans have been buying homes in Chandler, Az. I, personally, have noticed the increase of black people moving into Chandler over the years.
Tempe is east of South Phoenix, north of Chandler, west of Mesa, and south of Scottsdale. Tempe, Arizona area is also home of Arizona State University or ASU.
ASU was known to be one of THE party schools in America. With that being said, Tempe is definitely a college town.
In addition to the dorms on campus, there’s an enormous percentage of students living off campus throughout Tempe. These students are in high rise apartments marketed to students near ASU and they’re renting rooms in nearby homes. It’s a young adult market.
This city is a great place for young singles and young couples. It perfect for networking day and night and you’re not to far from everywhere else in the valley. Tempe only seems to slow down a bit when classes at ASU end for summer break, since many students leave.
Tempe was the first city I move to after relocating to Arizona. There’s a lot of traffic in Tempe and more auto accidents also. When I moved to Chandler from Tempe, my auto insurance rates decreased because of that very thing.
Overall, I loved living in Tempe. I met a lot of interesting people, the work opportunity was always there and it’s a nice area.
Central Phoenix includes Downtown Phoenix, the areas in close vicinity of Downtown Phoenix and the Sky Harbor Airport.
If you are a young professional or bachelor, Downtown Phoenix might be the place for you. There are plenty of work opportunities in the downtown area. Everything you can possible need is within walking or biking distance; food, entertainment, and convenience. You would appreciate downtown most if you are car-less. Parking acan be a beast most days.
There are constant sporting events and concerts being home to the Footprint Center and Chasefield Center. Be prepared to plan for travel detours regularly due to these events.
There is even an small ASU campus downtown also.
There has been an on going battle with homelessness downtown. From my experience, this can be true for the downtowns I’ve experienced in different states.
Downtown is know to be quite expensive, but it was worth every penny in my book.
Scottsdale is east of Phoenix and north of Tempe. The city of Scottsdale is known for their spa resorts and golf courses.
Scottsdale has always gave “big spender” energy. It’s been given the nickname “Snottsdale” by some of the locals. You got to have some deep pockets if you want to live comfortably in Scottsdale. Ever heard of keeping up with the Joneses? Well they probably live in Scottsdale.
You could probably be single, in a relationship or have a whole family and live happily in Scottsdale. There’s a place for anybody, if you got that bank roll.
I’ve never lived in Scottsdale, but I have seen plenty of opportunity for work in North Scottsdale specifically. Many black people have reported being uncomfortable with the Police in Scottsdale, be cautious maneuvering in this area.
West Phoenix is made up of the cities and towns west of Phoenix city limits within Maricopa county. Including but not limited to; Avondale, Buckeye, Glendale, Peoria, and Tolleson.
West Valley just hosted Superbowl LVII earlier this year in February. The city showed out!
There is new $1 billion dollar development, the VAI Resort, that is scheduled to be completed in the year 2024 in Glendale. It’s expected to be the largest, premier entertainment destination in Arizona.
I don’t have a lot of personal insight on this area, I’ve never lived in West Phoenix and I barely travel to West Phoenix as I don’t have much reason to. I can say that there are a lot of job opportunities in this area.
North Phoenix is comprised of the Urban Villages of Paradise Valley, Deer Mountain, Desert View and North Gateway.
I was able to briefly experience living in North Phoenix, during a stressful period, in a not so pleasant area. I survived it and I’d stay in North Phoenix again with my family, in a different neighborhood of course.
It for sure has an urban vibe, you can tell you’re in the city of Phoenix with out being directly in the center of Phoenix. Another area full of job and networking opportunities for young and older professionals.
A bit more laid back than downtown, but still plenty of action.
Mesa is west of Tempe and north of Chandler and Gilbert. Mesa is a huge city within Maricopa. The city is known to have reasonably priced real estate and affordable rental rates. There’s great opportunity for employement in Mesa also.
In the winters, there’s an influx of people as the snowbird s migrate to Arizona to escape the cold weather. I’ve heard rumors that the police in Mesa are troublesome for black people as well. It is definitely something to take into consideration when choosing a place to live, if you want to be comfortable.
There’s a number of 55 years old and up communities throughout Mesa. That being said, Mesa is probably not the best place for young and single African Americans.
Gilbert is another suburb, just east of Chandler. I would say it’s very similar to Chandler, but with more new developments maybe.
Both really spaced out and ideal for families.
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