From the Oct. issue of MarkeTrends published by the Greater Washington Research Center:

Blacks continue to average considerably lower incomes than whites in metropolitan Washington today. Much has been written about the poverty and disadvantages of too many of the area's black residents -- and about the pockets of discrimination that continue to plague them.

Yet enough black Washingtonians have surmounted these barriers and achieved middle to upper incomes to constitute a consumer market that should not be ignored.

In relation to all black households in the area, those with $50,000-plus incomes make up about 13 percent; those with more than $35,000 are 29 percent of the total.

The median income of black households in metro Washington is now estimated at $24,200. (The median is the figure that cuts the income distribution exactly in the middle, with half of all households having incomes above that level and half below it.)

The median income is higher by thousands of dollars than any other of the top 10 metro areas. In fact, Washington is the only "top 10" area where the median income of black households exceeds $20,000.

More dramatically still, the black median household income for Washington is actually higher than that for households of all races in the New York metro area.

Similarly, the proportions of Washington-area black households with incomes above $35,000 and $50,000 are higher by far than in any other of the top 10. The numbers of such households are exceeded only by New York and Chicago with far larger black communities.