There is a good Atlantic
piece, "The Politics of the Urban Comeback: Gentrification and Culture in D.C.
," responding to another whitey is taking over the city/appropriating black culture piece in the Washington Post
, "The Brixton: It's new, happening and another example of African-American historical 'swagger-jacking'
The interesting thing about these perspectives is that while
half right, about appropriation of what we can call the "exchange value"
of culture or blackness, they are half wrong in that they inadequately provide historical
perspective in terms of analyzing the city demographically--e.g., Prince
George's County didn't become majority black because of the white
conspiracy, but because people of means moved out of the city in great
For example, the "famous" New York Times Sunday Magazine cover story in 1992, "The New Black Suburbs," which featured Jack and Leslie Johnson in the cover photograph. I remember reading that piece.
far as dealing with the more fundamental issue of why so many
African-Americans in the city are ill-prepared to compete in the context
of a market economy, the articles don't address the problem.
it's a challenge to the thesis by Prof. Hyra that Shaw has successfully
resisted gentrification. I counter that his thesis employs too narrow a
Labels: contested spaces, gentrification, urban revitalization