NY, DC and the Winds of Gentrification

Yours truly took a walk around America’s capital. Alongside the Greek Revivalist architecture and the colonnades that house the buildings from which the Great Babylon churns her gears and belches power across the world, I could not help but observe the relative squalor and neglect of the blacker parts of town.

I was up in New York, and instead of the usual hang outs around Manhattan and certain parts of Brooklyn, I was on the trip driven around the other parts of Brooklyn and a Queens all the way to Far Rockaway. And I noticed the same thing. Squalor. And again, mostly black. A smattering of Latino, but overall? Black.

In between all that, I saw the creeping gentrification. A few new complexes. A just completed hotel, not Four Seasons by any stretch but okay enough. And I know the owners aren’t black. I realized that in a few years, I’d come back there to a completely different neighborhood. Nicer. More affluent. Less black.

It’s a thing in urban America to be opposed to neighborhoods getting nicer. Because that’s because it’s accompanied by those neighborhoods becoming less black. Say what you want about the cultural changes that come with it but all of issues people have with gentrification mostly boil down to fewer blacks. But there’s no law that says gentrification has to racially purge an area. The reason it does is that black people are not part of the new money pouring in. They’re not buying these buildings. They’re not controlling the real estate corporations. They’re not being displaced by white folks, they’re being displaced by poverty.    But we can’t say that. So instead we say we hate gentrification. 

What will it take to get more black peoples be part of the wave of money altering their neighborhoods? A lot. I’m not giving much in the way of recommendations because those who know don’t need to be told and those that need to be told aren’t worth telling. If you truly want to know, I’ll summarize it as this: it’s time that black people got militant about making money. 

That’s it really. 

These were words to air my thoughts, not to make any intelligible post per se. 


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