One reason is perhaps because there are fewer African-Americans in Austin. AUniversity of Texas report on U.S. Census data reveals that Austin is the only large, fast-growing city in America with a declining black population.
From 2000 to 2010, Austin's general population jumped 20 percent, but the number of African-Americans shrank by 5 percent. Among the reasons given in the study: high property taxes, bad relations with police and disparities in public schools.
"Because race is such a barrier still in the 21st century, I think we need to be affirmative and intentional at overcoming that barrier — push ourselves to get to know one another," says the neighborhood association's James Nortey. "And I think when we do that we'll find we have vastly more in common than we have apart."