Gentrification: The Extermination of the Black Community

This is the fourth section within the topic on Integration.  This discussion will focus on how gentrification throughout many American major cities has impacted the Black Community physically, socially, and economically.

The 3 Questions

1. Is gentrification a good thing?

2. Why do you feel the resources that come with gentrification are never applied to these neighborhoods when the residency is Blacker?

3. What can be done to prevent the expansion of gentrification?


Black Advancement Inc.’s home is in the DMV area, which is home to some of the Blacker cities in the and counties in the nation.  However, anyone from this area can tell you the monster of gentrification has hit with the force of a comet here, bringing the subjects of race and class to the forefront of everyday life.  “Chocolate City” aka Washington, D.C. looks nowadays much less like a milk chocolate bar and more like the cookies and cream bar.  A perfect example of this is displayed when the Montreal Expos moved to D.C. and became the Nationals.  This move begot the building of a stadium, which lead to new high-end condo’s and hipster eateries and restaurants that previously never would have dreamed of coming to the area. To be clear, all this investment and improvement of a once impoverished area is good news, it does create a whole new stream of income for D.C. and employment opportunities as well.  Young professionals will be more likely to live in the city and spend time and money there.  The Metro will increase revenue from more people not to mention the gate for a competitive Baseball team.  Missing from all of these upgrades though, are the thoughts and concerns of the residents that previously lived in an area that was undervalued.  Where would these people live, where would they go, how would the rapidly changing economic upheaval impact their lives?  These types of overhauls have occurred and continue to occur in neighbors just like this one in D.C. throughout America, begging the question of whether gentrification is helping the destruction of Black Community?

Please write in and response to our 3 poll questions or post some questions that you would like to see asked.  These question and more were addressed on 1/21/2023.

5 thoughts on “Gentrification”

  1. 1. Is gentrification a good thing? Yes and no. As the properties are being developed in many instances homeowners can benefit by the increased surrounding development, value they would likely never see if it relied simply on local homeowner investment, as is obvious in these areas. However, the type of gentrification I see in northern VA and DC is generally sweeping change that simply buys up all the properties at low “fair market” prices and homeowners don’t receive any benefit of the development.

    2. Why do you feel the resources that come with gentrification are never applied to these neighborhoods when the residency is Blacker? The history of blacks and real estate seems to indicate blacks don’t care for their property, endangering the investment. Bear in mind that totally ignores the shackles placed on blacks to put them into difficult situations, ie poor education, poor nutrition, hyper police involvement, and on and on. These factors put blacks in terrible situations and throw obstacles in their way then question their lack of success. The money doesn’t come to blacks because blacks in America are underpaid and mistreated by the banking system and consequently many cannot afford to remain and afford the necessary investment to contribute to the value of the neighborhoods. It’s so simply another case of systemic racism, just in the banking and investment community.

    3. What can be done to prevent the expansion of gentrification? I would prefer to see lots of gentrification. I just want to see if benefit everyone one fairly, not just the wealthy real estate developers and bankers but also the homeowners and neighborhoods and local businesses.

  2. 1. Is gentrification a good thing?
    Absolutely not. It displaces people by either pricing them out of the neighborhood as it grows and expands, or forcing them out by other means. Also those who originally inhabit the area rarely benefit from the new developments/businesses/infrastructure put into place. Gentrification is a discriminatory practice that happens in broad daylight, yet few understand it wholly as it transpires.

    2. Why do you feel the resources that come with gentrification are never applied to these neighborhoods when the residency is Blacker?
    This is a two fold answer: We as Black people have not over many years not done a great job investing in our own community via building businesses as well as supporting those businesses that HAVE been built. It is hard to increase value in a neighborhood when we are tearing it down and endangering one another via crime (murder,rape, assault, etc etc etc.) The projects wouldn’t be the projects, if we simply took care of it. It would just be affordable housing…. Next: Black neighborhoods or neighborhoods that are deemed “Black” don’t receive the benefits of gentrification because those handing out those dollars don’t look like us and therefore do not feel it necessary to have a financial investment unless they are coming to take it over. Once you see that Starbucks……its a wrap! It would be a dream to see a Black/Blacker neighborhood receive these dollars and benefit from it. Therefore people would understand how Wakanda is possible….(yes…..I mean that.)

    3. What can be done to prevent the expansion of gentrification?
    We have to protect our territory and expand it legally….Develop our STEM Programs (Science Technology Engineering & Math), Finance out own areas and take over law enforcement. Black people with higher incomes have to take our dollars to OUR neighborhoods….It’s akin to being a star player and taking your talent to an HBCU, instead of going to Duke University and letting them make millions off your name for 1-2 years. Imagine if all the talent avoided PWIs and went to HBCU’s knowing full well they’d still go Pro…..that is what would happen we created our own “Bel Air” and so on and so forth. This is a question that yields many answers, but requires the actions of many….

  3. 1. Is gentrification a good thing?
    Yes and No. Yes, because it does attract investment in improved housing and new businesses in a neighborhood, but also no, because it drives up property rates and pushes the poor and working class who already live in a particular neighborhood out where they’ll have to swallow much longer commutes and more spread out neighborhoods with less sense of community.

    2. Why do you feel the resources that come with gentrification are never applied to these neighborhoods when the residency is Blacker?
    I think answer to this goes back to the history of redlining as a system of keeping Black people out of suburban and/or predominantly white neighborhoods through methods like only approving uninsured loans for Black mortgage applications, only approving them for purchase in certain neighborhoods, or denying their applications altogether. And also, only approving these mortgages at exorbitantly high interest rates making repair and upgrades prohibitively expensive, which encourages the proliferation of blight across whole neighborhoods for generations at a time, depressing values and discouraging investment by retail companies. This has had the effect of keeping Black people largely confined to certain areas for long stretches of the past century and preventing more Black people from joining the middle and upper classes than might have otherwise.

    I think the attitudes that fuel these practices are from 1) stereotyping –staff at banks, home/rental insurance companies, and real estate companies assume Black people can’t afford or aren’t responsible enough to pay more, and 2) because real estate investors cynically take advantage of racist attitudes among white people, whether overt or unconscious, for company gain; to either drive down prices by ‘scaring’ white people with rumors about an influx of minority people moving into their neighborhood, or waiting until the announcement of a government-approved major development (such as a sports arena) in a minority neighborhood, in order to buy low and rebuild to sell or rent high.

    3. What can be done to prevent the expansion of gentrification?
    I think the key thing is to make sure EO housing laws are both strong enough and aggressively enforced. Public community banks such as what Andrew Yang proposed during his run for NYC mayor could help provide poor and working-class people access to loans and credit so they can build a credit history and improve their access to quality mortgage terms and better housing. I think steps such as these would help all neighborhoods, regardless of demographics, build collective wealth and attract investment and economic growth.

  4. Is Gentrification a good thing? Yes. Because of gentrification people of color have learned what can become of neighborhoods if people work together for a common purpose/goal. The hurt and anger experienced from seeing areas where we live turning “carmel” is clear. the question is why did it happen. I think it’s because of Location. Not all areas are being gentrified and why not? Because the location wasn’t attractive. Access to transportation, entertainment venues and work was easier for those areas being gentrified. We didn’t realize it because we didn’t see the vision (which was designed years ago). We must educate ourselves about the city planning/zoning and anticipate what will happen. Build where we live and invest where we live. If others come to live there? So what? They’ll support our businesses too because we were proactive and planned accordingly for ourselves.

    2. History has shown that people of color are and have been marginalized and not given the same resources as others. We bought into The negative stereotypes seen on tv and the media and Businesses have done the same, thinking that black neighborhoods are unable to support their businesses. As stated above, Location, Location, Location is one of the main reasons it’s happening. Why is it hard to get or attract resources? I believe it’s because of lack of financial backing and institutional racism. We may not be able to change racist behavior but
    we have the means to write our own vision of neighborhoods, we have the financial means grow and support it and entice fortune 1000 businesses to build where we live. This is truer today than ever before due to remote work, Yes, our neighborhoods may be blacker but we can attract businesses by building and supporting our own first.

    What can be done to stop gentrification? Let our money do the talking and support those black businesses in our area that are servicing our communities, make our communities those which others envy,, leave a legacy of financial wealth along with the knowledge of how money works.

  5. 1. Is gentrification a good thing?
    Like most things in America, this is only good if you are a certain persuasion and in a certain tax bracket. Using the framing normally associated with the topic of gentrification, the reverse white flight into predominantly Black and brown spaces brings about investment and amenities that anyone who loves coffee shops, public transportation, trendy restaurants, access to the action, etc. would enjoy. However, if you maintain this theme of thought you must not only displace the current population, you must consider why this level of investment from the local government was not done prior to these Black and brown people no longer being there. The simple answer is, systematic racism. The tougher pill to swallow is that before this investment they taxed you for being Black and having the audacity to live the city, citing the very same security concerns they use as an excuse to not invest in the neighborhoods as they do to charge you more for basic items from the store. To put it plainly, no gentrification is not a good thing.

    2. Why do you feel the resources that come with gentrification are never applied to these neighborhoods when the residency is Blacker?
    Systematic racism, hidden behind the vail of statistics. They call it the projects for a reason, they stack people on top of each other and give limited job opportunities, an inability to fund schools with age appropriate tools, and allow all the ills of society to setup shop ie liquor stores, and wonder why the crime rate is so high. These issues, which are often seen as problems inherit to Black people opposed to government sheirking away from their duty, are seen as security risk. So investment from outside vendors lacks serverly, the tax base and economic set trapped in these places have no financial power and thus no political power, hence they are ignore and used as a political football until the rich white man realizes how much money there is to be made in the city.

    3. What can be done to prevent the expansion of gentrification? Investment in the children from these areas.

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