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August 6, 2007

There Goes the ‘Hood: a nuanced take on gentrification

Atlantic Yards Report

FreemanThereGoes.gifNorman Oder considers the impacts of gentrification as discussed in Lance Freeman's "There Goes the 'Hood."

The final stop on the [house] tour was in the southeast portion of Clinton Hill, not far from the official (though shifting, in the eyes of some real estate promoters) border with blacker, poorer Bedford-Stuyvesant. Nearby, outside a laundromat on Fulton Street, a black woman and a black man, middle-aged and apparently working class, were having a conversation loud enough to overhear.

W: I’m not coming back. They assholes.

M: People that work here?

W: No. The others. They new to the neighborhood and they acting like we visiting.

The racial identity of their antagonists was unclear, but the class identity was not, and the episode encapsulated some tensions explored by Lance Freeman, a Columbia University academic, in his 2006 book, There Goes the ’Hood: Views of Gentrification from the Ground Up, based on interviews in two mostly-black neighborhoods, Harlem and Clinton Hill, where in recent years higher-income residents, black and white, have moved in.


Posted by lumi at August 6, 2007 7:51 AM