There is a tsunami bearing down. The earthquake which caused the astronomical unimaginable wave is a force known as gentrification. Gentrification is “officially” defined as a shift in an urban community toward wealthier residents and/or businesses and increasing property values. Gentrification is typically the result of investment in a community by local government, community activists, or business groups, and can often spur economic development, attract business, and lower crime rates.
The genesis of the earthquake of gentrification is the process started with urban flight, as it has occurred in the United States from the 1960s to the 1990s. This Suburban colonization happened when people move to suburbs, taking their political power with them from the place they left. Their reasoning of their flight was tendentiousness to get away from Black People moving into their communities. I remember my mother buying a home in Chicago in 1967 in a neighborhood that once we moved in, for sale signs showed up on nearly every house in the neighborhood. At one time becaues of this degradation Chicago passed a law prohibiting for sale signs.
The social, economic, and physical impacts that results from the earthquake of gentrification often creates a tidal wave of political conflict. This conflict is exacerbated by differences in race, class, and culture. Those Black residents may feel embattled, ignored, and excluded from their own homes and communities. The new white arrivals pretend to be mystified by accusations that their efforts to improve local conditions are perceived as hostile or even racist. Whites, with the increasing cost of fuel along with elongated commutes renew their interest in city life and has put a premium on urban neighborhoods.
“South Shore is one of 77 well-defined community areas of the City of Chicago, Illinois in the United States. A predominately black neighborhood located along Chicago’s southern lakefront, it is a relatively stable and gentrifying neighborhood.” This is a quote found on the internet regarding one of my old stomping grounds. “Gentrifying Neighborhood,” South Shore Drive and the neighboring communities adjacent to it is prime location to the lake and to metro transportation. The tsunami will hit South Shore communities with a furious flushing of the present residents and those who were part of urban flight will be the residents of South Shore after the flushing recedes.
Barry Farm is the latest battleground for grass-roots housing advocates in the nation’s capital, where intense gentrification has altered the city’s demographic landscape dramatically. Because Washington D.C. Aka Chocolate City was America’s first city to have a black majority, it came as a shock to many in 2011 when DC’s black population dropped below 50 percent for the first time in more than 50 years. Community after community is being listed as most dangerous in the nation for the justification of the tsunami to be directed in by the gentrification earthquake to execute the flushing of the present residents.
Watts, Los Angeles across the country and maybe the world is thought of as a Black community. The history of the Watts Riots and the Watts Tower lends people to think of Watts as a Black neighborhood. By the early 1960s, Watts had become nearly 100 percent black, as whites moved on to new suburbs outside the central city. As industrial jobs disappeared from the area, the projects housed many more poor Black families than they had traditionally. Today a total of 36,815 people lived in Watts’s 2.12 square miles, according to the 2000 U.S. Census averaging 17,346 people per square mile, among the highest population densities in Los Angeles. Population was estimated at 41,028 in 2008. The median age was 21, making Watts the Los Angeles neighborhood with the youngest population. It would be a great surprise to most that Latinos made up 61.6% of the population, with Black people at 37.1%.
The South Bronx, after World War II, as white flight accelerated and migration of ethnic and racial minorities continued, the South Bronx went from being two-thirds non-Hispanic white in 1950 to being two-thirds black or Puerto Rican in 1960. Today due to the tsunami more middle-class professionals, many of them white, are moving in, buying co-ops with sunken living rooms and wraparound windows for under $300,000 in Art Deco buildings that straddle a boulevard designed to emulate the Champs-Élysées.
I remember once when I was a district manager for a company in “South Central,” Los Angeles, now called “South Los Angeles,” at a new store opening. The Regional Manager and I were standing out front of the store watching the crowd and he asked me where the Black people were? That day I had no answer. Like the sphinx missing his nose to obscure his identity, we are missing from communities we once occupied becoming cryptic. Today I realize the tsunami had already come and I didn’t even know it. If we continue to not open our eyes we won’t see it coming to our communities. If we don’t open our ears we will not hear the earthquake that generates the tsunami. The earthquake can be heard when verbiage is rendered about “most dangerous communities” or words are spoken casting aspersions on a community.
I now live in Prince George’s County in Maryland. I also work in the county. I hear more than once a day from managers, not of my melanocytes, negative debasing remarks about “PG County” as if the county is full of shiftless lazy criminals who, as one manager put it: ‘will steal the toilet bowl from the bathroom if he wasn’t looking.’
Prince George’s County is the wealthiest African American-majority County in the United States as of the estimated American Community Survey Census of 2008; there were 825,924 people, 298,439 households, and 198,047 families residing in the county. The population density was 1,651/sq mi. There were 308,929 housing units at an average density of 623/sq. mi. Prince George’s County is adjacent to the National Harbor. This makes the county prime real estate as well as many communities in Washington D.C. These locations are hearing the earthquake and some neighborhoods are too late because the tsunami has been generated and it is on its way.
It doesn’t require a great deal of money. It will not require waiting for a Senator, Congressman or President to effect change. What will need to be done is for every, and I mean EVERY voice throughout the country to speak in one voice. It is easy to talk of how we don’t work together and it is true we don’t work well together. We don’t and we won’t until THE DAY WE DO! The universe has a way of bringing to existence what is called for. It sounds and looks unbelievable, but this is not the first recorded case of telekinesis. Many “godmen” in China and India have proven their ability to move objects, bend spoons or break bottles without touching them, during public displays. We talk of calling things into existence and this is a very true concept. Qi (Chi) energy, these techniques have long been attributed to Buddhist monks, who, after years of training and meditation, can supposedly make their bodies immune to sharp objects and powerful blows. We can stop calling into existence our inability to work together and call into existence our unity.
We seem to have lost focus on the Dream. We should speak loud about be Black and Proud. We should look within the community and understand a house divided will fall. We should be the change we want to see in others. These were the focus of those who came before us who died for us. It’s about the community. It’s about each and every one of us. I hear about blacks and latinos in the same voice. As I can see latinos are doing just fine. In South Central Los Angeles, where an influx of hard-working, entrepreneurial Latino immigrants built a vibrant working-class community after the 1992 riots. Women are doing very well with exception of Black Ladies. Everything is working well for asians, and every other group but us.
Our ancestors are yelling: “What are doing with the community we left from our bloody, beaten, lynched, bodies! Our children are yelling: “What are you doing with our futures; you aren’t leaving us hope, equity, or chance! We should be yelling: “I matter, I count, I am Black and I’m proud! Yelling for justice and not from a Senator, Congressman or President to effect change, justice from your sister, your brother, and your neighbor. Justice in speaking up for clean and safe communities. Justice in co-opting for Black owned businesses and contractors and service providers. Screaming for your son, daughter, and their sons and daughters to show each other respect, love and adoration. Demanding change in self as you demand in others. Screaming from the top of your lungs I’M BLACK AND I’M DAMN PROUD OF THAT FACT! Not multiracial looking for rainbows collisions but BLACK COLLISIONS of success. We may be 12.6% of the United States Population but we are in control of one trillion dollars annually. This is a voice that cannot be quiet if each and every one of us talk into existence our greatness and stop the earthquakes and tsunamis. Talk into existence our unity. Talk into existence our respect, adoration, love and trust of one another and. . . . . .
SO IT IS SPOKEN AND SO IT WILL BE!