During Corona’s “majority minority” transition stage the white population went from 98% in 1960 to about 67% in 1970. It continued to decrease with whites averaging 34% of the population in 1980 and only 18% in 1990. Also during this time, there was an increase in the amount of immigrants and African Americans within the neighborhood. By 1990 Elmhurst-Corona was 10% black, 26% Asian, and 45% Latin American. People of German, Irish, Polish, Italian, Jewish and other European ethnicities now lived amongst Africans, African Americans, Chinese, Colombians, Dominicans, Cubans, Ecuadorians, Filipinos, Hatians, Indians, Koreans, Mexicans and Puerto Ricans.


Corona’s Black Population

The influx of the black population in Corona during the 1970’s was due to a racial discrimination conflict within Lefrak City. Lefrak City was a 4,600-unit apartment complex in Corona that was accused of taking discriminatory measures in order to keep blacks out of their housing. Because of these discriminatory lending practices only 9% of Lefrak City’s tenant population was black. After a federal housing discrimination suit, landlord Samuel Lefrak agreed to end such practices. What followed was a first-come first-serve basis for renters, where African American teachers, lower-middle class employees and white collar workers sought out Lefrak’s apartments. Lefrak City went from being 9% black, to two-thirds black in 1975, with white flight acting a major cause of this transformation. Although there was an influx in black newcomers, because of persistent racial discrimination in the white local real estate sector, they were only allowed to settle in or nearby this complex. As a result, 86% of Corona’s black population lived in only 3 of the 35 census tracts, clearly illustrating the residential segregation in Corona.

Spanish/Asian Corona

By 1970 Dominicans and Colombians referred to sections of Corona and Elmhurst as “Chapinerito” and “Saban Iglesias” named after places in their homelands. Korean Christian churches, Spanish-language Protestant congregations, a Hindu temple, a Pakistani mosque and a Chinese Zen Buddhist church were all erected in Corona.”Enormous crowds came for Colombian, Ecuadorian, and Korean festivals in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, where Latin American leagues also played soccer every weekend. New Asian and Latin American stores appeared on the district’s commercial strips, and unfamiliar languages could be heard on subway platforms, in Elmhurst Hospital, at local libraries, in coin laundries, and on every block and apartment building floor.”



  1. Color-Full before Color Blind: The Emergence of Multiracial Neighborhood Politics in Queens, New York City
    Roger Sanjek
    American Anthropologist , New Series, Vol. 102, No. 4 (Dec., 2000), pp. 762-772
    Published by: Blackwell Publishing on behalf of the American Anthropological Association
    Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/684198

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