In a quiet corner of Elk Grove, where the maze of subdivisions and shopping centers gives way to open fields, Sharie Wilson has spent the past three years building her dream home. It’s nothing like the neighborhood where she grew up in South Central L.A. But in this Sacramento County suburb, her family owns a modern farmhouse set on 2.5 acres, with a stately U-shaped driveway and a Pan-African flag over the front door. In the backyard, there’s a basketball court inlaid with the logo of her hair care company, DreamGirls. Still, Wilson has to justify her family’s success. Neighbors have asked her husband, who works at the local water district and runs his own apparel company, what sport he plays. Or how the couple really paid for their house. “Hopefully, once people keep seeing it, they stop seeing the color and start seeing us as humans,” said Wilson, a 41-year-old mother of six boys. Wilson is one of around 275,000 Black Californians who have left high-cost coastal cities in the past three decades, sometimes bound for other states or cities, but more often to seek their slice of the American dream in the state’s sprawling suburban backyard. Many transplants… Read full this story
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