A Project for Better Journalism chapter
June 8, 2019: quibble (verb) : to evade the point of an argument by caviling about words  More →
Black History, Essays, Inside the Classroom, Politics


Have you been to Washington D.C. lately? What did you notice? Anything look different? Well I know that I have. I have noticed brand new buildings, renovations, and fixed roads. I have also noticed a major increase in caucasians in the city in the last couple of years. Going to D.C. when I was younger compared to what I see now doesn’t even feel real. In the past, you would see little to no white people in D.C. but now it is almost as if white people have taken over the entire city. This is what we call, gentrification. Gentrification is the process of repairing and rebuilding homes and businesses in a deteriorating area accompanied by an influx of middle-class or affluent people and that often results in the displacement of earlier, usually poorer residents (Merriam-Webster). In simpler terms, gentrification is making a city look brand new by fixing old building and replacing original and poorer residents with new residents on a higher social class.

Gentrification happens by the city raising price for rent on tenants to unaffordable costs to force them out. The old tenants are then replaced by people with more money and higher status in social class. Gentrification has been happening around the nation since the early 20th century. It has changed major cities like New York, San Francisco, Boston, Oakland, and now Washington D.C. The Washington D.C and Prince Georges County area is historically largely african american populated. In a lot of places within this area, residents are forcefully being displaced, being forced to sell their homes or move out because they just cannot afford to live there anymore since living costs have purposely been raised.  

Gentrification can definitely be fought off. If the people were to come together for their cause and fight for themselves, gentrification would not be what it is today. The people can literally demand changes and for what is happening to stop. People can demand affordable housing. People of color seem to never see their community and coming together to fix it as a priority. If only they came together, demanded what is right, and actually speak to public officials, their problems within their communities would not be so prevalent. Gentrification could not happen without help from the government. If you stop it there, it could be a huge help in stopping it in your community completely. The people in low income areas and communities can also ask and demand new public housing. Affordable and livable housing is definitely a top issue in poor neighborhoods. If the people of these areas just tried their best  to fight back for what is right, this social experiment called gentrification would not be able affect them. That is how you fight back and stop gentrification.