white flight


Definition of white flight 

: the departure of whites from places (such as urban neighborhoods or schools) increasingly or predominantly populated by minorities

Examples of white flight in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Surprisingly, the places with the most white flight were scattered across the country. Michael Harriot, The Root, "New Study Shows White People Don’t Like Living Near Black People; Captain Obvious Declines Comment," 25 Apr. 2018 As students and their parents disappeared from the district when white flight began in the late 1960s, many schools eventually closed, but equipment and supplies were left behind. Carole Carlson, Post-Tribune, "Gary's empty schools have seen vandalism, arson and neglect. Now, they're going on the real estate market.," 28 June 2018 The reaction to the riots — white flight to the suburbs and support for Frank Rizzo-style policing on steroids — created a political momentum for white backlash. Will Bunch, Philly.com, "How the chaos of 1968 set the stage for a President Donald Trump | Will Bunch," 24 May 2018 The left usually bemoans the lack of investment in historically non-white neighbourhoods, white flight from city centres and economic segregation. The Economist, "In praise of gentrification," 21 June 2018 Black and Latino folks were portrayed as the people responsible for the shaping of Camden, as if there wasn’t a long history of political neglect, political malfeasance, white flight, racial supremacy, and so much else. Brandon T. Harden, Philly.com, "Darnell L. Moore's 'No Ashes in the Fire': Coming of age queer, male, and black," 6 June 2018 With the suburbs now available as an escape route from Green’s desegregation mandates, white flight intensified. Will Stancil, The Atlantic, "The Radical Supreme Court Decision That America Forgot," 29 May 2018 Painful politics of racial divide, white flight, inequity, and lack of investment became Detroit’s public dominant narrative, no longer its vehicles. Tamara Warren, The Verge, "Inside Detroit’s crumbling train station that Ford plans to transform into a mobility lab," 20 June 2018 Image Christian Estevez, the son of Dominican immigrants, grew up in the 1970s in Plainfield, N.J., at a time of widespread white flight. Sharon Otterman, New York Times, "New Jersey Law Codifies School Segregation, Suit Says," 17 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'white flight.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of white flight

1956, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

2 Sep 2018

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The first known use of white flight was in 1956

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More Definitions for white flight

white flight


English Language Learners Definition of white flight

: an occurrence in which many white people move out of a city as more and more people of other races move in

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