Our biggest problem now in the South is people who use race to advance some political agenda.
With whites, it is the Tea Party. With blacks, it is maximizing government programs for sustinance.
I used to coffee at a Hardee's in Rocky Mount. That town, years ago, distinguished itself with equal parks and other things between the black and white sides of town. The major rail for CSX divides the town and also Edgecombe and Nash Counties. In the 60's, more blacks were on the Edgecombe side and whites on the Nash side. That has changed in the last 20 years and blacks are all over.
However, the Edgecombe side has the hood and it has become crime and drug filled as the economy has taken almost all the industry from Rocky Mount. Most interesting is how black citizens at Hardee's would express their disgust at their side sucking on welfare and refusing to work. Many or them were having to sleep in bath tubs to protect against bullets whizzing through their houses as gangs banged.
Too often, both white and black sides of the equation do not see the value of just being respectful friends despite the color with which you were born. Rocky Mount is now more racially divided than ever over a few City Politicians using race for position.
Down here in little Bath, I detect no such rampant racism. Beaufort County is fairly peaceful with a reasonable degree of crime. Next county over, Pitt, is full of drugs and crime like Rocky Mount. It is more prosperous due to the presence of East Carolina University and the big Medical Center. It is more diversified with industry, but not so divided politically as is Rocky Mount. Their crime issue is most similar and---sad to say---far more crime is perpetuated in the black community and much of it is black on black. A shooting a day is the norm in both Greenville and Rocky Mount.
Each place has it's flavor. The part which is notable is when race is set aside and people do as they please without worrying about the color of their friendships.