TGR: Gentrification Education

lucius gantt
Lucius Gantt is a columnist and commentator on political and social affairs. Buy Gantt’s latest book, “Beast Too: Dead Man Writing” and from bookstores everywhere. Contact him at “Like” The Gantt Report on Facebook

     Gentrification is the process of changing the character of a neighborhood through the influx of more affluent residents and businesses. Gentrification often shifts a neighborhood’s racial/ethnic composition and average household income by developing new, more expensive housing and businesses.
    The gentrification process is typically the result of increasing attraction to an area by people with higher incomes spilling over from neighboring cities, towns, or neighborhoods. In addition to these potential benefits, gentrification can lead to population migration and displacement.
     However, some view the fear of displacement, which is dominating the debate about gentrification, as hindering discussion about genuine progressive approaches to distribute the benefits of urban redevelopment strategies.
     In other words, some people have hopes and dreams about urban progress and better cities while others have plots and schemes.
     Back in the day, if you wanted to know where Black people lived in a city all you had to do was find the railroad. Blacks lived on one side of the track and whites lived on the other side.
      Today, Black citizens are being pushed outside of the inner cities and white suburbanites are encouraged to move back downtown.
     Hmmm? How could this be happening? Greenwood is Greenwood, Rosewood is Rosewood, Overtown and Liberty City are Overtown and Liberty City, Harlem is Harlem and Fourth Ward is Fourth Ward.
     No, they are not!
    Every day, housing developers and business developers search for Black communities that they can gentrify and take over!
    The politicians that represent you, in many cases, have sold you out for rice and peas and false promises about jobs and opportunities. Politicians will tell you that you will get more job opportunities, more affordable and better housing, more economic and business opportunities, for instance, if the city tears down the projects and builds high rise luxury condos.
     For most Blacks, Hispanics and other people of color that are displaced and are removed from public or low-cost affordable housing.Buying a new or renovated house in your old community is an impossible dream.
     Who are the other people behind urban gentrification? Well, start with the beast bankers whose redlines are more red than ever before.
     Too many Black men and women can’t go to sleep and dream about getting a home loan or business loan. But Bubba and Becky that live in a trailer park can get a loan to buy a house in a prominent Black neighborhood any time they want to.
    Any China man can get a loan to sell egg rolls in a Black neighborhood, any Vietnamese can get a loan to set up a nail salon, any Arab can get a loan to open a 7-11 store and any white person can get a loan to buy and flip as many houses as they want to in neighborhoods where you have lived all of your life.
     It’s hard for Blacks to get home loans if they have excellent credit. If Ray Ray and Nene want to buy a house they need credit and cash, preferably “all cash” to make an offer on a home purchase.
     Until African Americans and other minorities begin to build, rebuild and develop their own communities we will always be at the mercy of beast bankers and devilish developers.
     Don’t take my word for it. Ask gradma!
     Your grand parents may have bought their house 40 years ago for $100,000. When the city allowed a 12-story high rise and a golf course to be built around the corner, your grand parent’s taxes became unaffordable and forced Big Mama to move out of the neighborhood.
     Don’t get mad about gentrification, get smart. Call out your commissioners, councilmen and mayors about their rubber stamping and parroting of gentrification proposals.
     Stop letting politicians and their gentrifying friends conspire to rob you and take your communities by pretending to be your supporters and benefactors!