Forsyth County, Georgia

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Forsyth County is a county located in the state of Georgia. As of 2000, the population is 98,407. The county's incredible growth is evident with a population of 131,865 according to the 2004 U.S. Census Estimate. The county's county seat is Cumming, Georgia6.

This county is a part of the Atlanta Metropolitan Area.

Contents

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 641 km² (247 mi²). 585 km² (226 mi²) of it is land and 56 km² (22 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 8.72% water.

Demographics

As of the census2 of 2000, there are 98,407 people, 34,565 households, and 28,101 families residing in the county. The population density is 168/km² (436/mi²). There are 36,505 housing units at an average density of 62/km² (162/mi²). The racial makeup of the county is 95.05% White, 0.70% Black or African American, 0.25% Native American, 0.80% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 2.27% from other races, and 0.93% from two or more races. 5.57% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 34,565 households out of which 41.70% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 71.90% are married couples living together, 6.60% have a female householder with no husband present, and 18.70% are non-families. 14.80% of all households are made up of individuals and 4.00% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.83 and the average family size is 3.12.

In the county the population is spread out with 27.90% under the age of 18, 6.10% from 18 to 24, 37.10% from 25 to 44, 21.80% from 45 to 64, and 7.10% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 35 years. For every 100 females there are 102.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 100.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county is $68,890, and the median income for a family is $74,003. Males have a median income of $50,862 versus $32,112 for females. The per capita income for the county is $29,114. 5.50% of the population and 3.90% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 5.60% of those under the age of 18 and 10.20% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Cities and towns

History

Forsyth County was created in 1832 from a partition of Cherokee County, which had been formed from the Cherokee Nation East the previous year. Forsyth County was named for John Forsyth.

Racism

Forsyth County is most widely known for its racist past. The 1910 census listed the racial makeup as "10847 white, 658 black, and 440 mulatto". Classifying just over 10% of the population as of or partially of African-American descent. However, in 1912 the entire African-American population was driven from the county following the rape and murder of a white woman, Mae Crow. Two black men were hanged for the crime, and a third was lynched for the assault. The county, even to the present day, remains devoid of racial diversity although more ethnically diverse citizens have begun in recent years to immigrate to the county, particularly in the affluent Southern region. However the racial tension continues to be a part of the County's image. This was infamously punctuated in January 17, 1987 by a march by civil rights activists in Cumming, and a violent counterdemonstration by a branch of the Ku Klux Klan and other residents. According to the a story published in the New York Times on January 18, 1987, four marchers were slightly injured by stones, and bottles were thrown at them. Eight people, all white, were arrested. The charges included trespassing and carrying concealed weapons. According to the New York Times story, the black marchers arrived by bus from Atlanta, and white onlookers began chanting, "Go home, niggers," and others pelted the marchers with bottles, stones, and mud.

Originally, the march was going to be led by Gainesville, Georgia, resident Charles A. Blackburn, who wanted to dispel the racist image of Forsyth County, where some Gainesville residents live. Blackburn cancelled his plans after he received threatening phone calls. Other whites in nearby counties, as well as State Representative J.E. McKinney of Atlanta and Hosea Williams, who was on the Atlanta City Council, took up the march plans instead.

The following week, January 24, 1987 approximately 20,000 civil rights activists marched from Atlanta to Cumming. This occurrence produced no violence, despite the presence of over 1,000 Klansmen, largely due to the presence of about 2,000 peace officers and national guardsmen. Forsyth County paid $670,000 for police overtime during the demonstration. There was considerable public outrage at the costs, particularly since most of the demonstrators on both sides were from outside the county.

The demonstration is thought to have been the largest civil rights demonstration in the U.S. since about 1970.

Forsyth county subsequently charged large fees for parade permits until the practice was overturned in Forsyth County, Georgia v. The Nationalist Movement Supreme Court of the United States 505 U.S. 123 June 19, 1992.

Today, Forsyth County is still almost 100 percent white. Most white people who move there are affluent professionals who know little to nothing about the area's racial tension. In 1997, there were 39 black people in Forsyth County. Most of the black population lives in the South Forsyth area, either in Cumming, Georgia, Alpharetta, Georgia, or Duluth, Georgia.

External links

  • John Forsyth (http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=F000284), Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
  • History and Records (http://www.rootsweb.com/~gaforsyt/), Forsyth County, GA
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