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Gentrification In The Black Community

Dee W.

Gentrification is defined as the process whereby the character of a poor urban area is changed by

wealthier people moving in, improving housing, and attracting new businesses, typically

displacing current inhabitants in the process. In most cases it is areas the black community has

been using for decades and is recently looked at as valuable by white people. Why is this bad?

I am going to use the most prominent example of gentrification in recent years. The Barclays

Center in Brooklyn, New York has been one of the hottest bed topics in recent memory. To start

the city of New York isn’t crawling with empty space; especially for the size of a professional

NBA area. This means an area must be torn down to make space. The area they settled on was a

housing district some called home for decades. The city forcibly bought the homes of the

residents for much less than what they were worth and put them out. This virtually made some

longtime residents homeless. This is one of the harms of gentrification because the people prior

always draw short end of the sticks. People who have grew up in this area and has called this

home for decades for a basketball arena. Let’s not hide the fact either this location was only

picked because it was looked at as a good spot in its current state. This means the surrounding

stores and residents where in the up and they took advantage of that. Maybe this isn’t all bad

because well they must have had a reason, right? They promised new jobs for the locals and

increase revenue for the area as a whole. How has that panned out?

As of 2021 none of these promises are being met. A few factors contribute to the underwhelming

results. The professional teams housed at the arena has sucked for the past couple of years. The

Brooklyn Nets have finished in bottom ten of attendance for third year back to now. Even the

first two years where below projected numbers but not to this extent. Why are the numbers much

lower than expected? The team sucked and it is as simple as that. They didn’t generate enough

buzz or fan intrigue. As of last summer, that may have changed with the signings of Kevin

Durant and Kyrie Irving, but only time will tell. With fan attendance being lower the projected

revenue increase around the area is much lower than expected. Many stores who are depending

on huge crowds during game days are being disappointed on the turnout. That injustice doesn’t

end there because when it comes to gentrification prices will go up. The price to have a store

next to professional arena is much higher than before it was there. Same is true for housing

apartments that made it. So, with lowly fan attendance and increased pricing means utter failure.

Couple that with no new businesses opening then it’s a huge disaster. If new businesses aren’t

opening, then new jobs aren’t being made either. How did we get here where prices are higher

then before with revenue being less than before? It’s because the other side thought they could

make a quick buck on a cherished black neighborhood. In the end people lost their homes and

memories on false promises. Many people who live in the area has even said that area doesn’t

even feel like Brooklyn anymore. This is just one major example of gentrification and it happens

every day too much smaller black neighborhoods. This is why we are upset when we see new

people moving into our neighborhoods.

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