there are still widespread feelings in some African-American communities that bike lanes are the opening act of gentrification, says Adrian Lipscomb, a bicycle project coordinator for the city of Austin, Texas who is writing a Ph.D dissertation on African-Americans and biking. One woman in the historically African-American neighborhood of East Austin told Lipscomb, “When the bikes came in, the blacks went out.”
Sapelo Island, Georgia — It’s a culture struggling to survive. Fewer than 50 people — all descendants of slaves — fear they may soon be taxed out of the property their families have owned since the days of slavery.
They are the Gullah-Geechee people of Sapelo Island off Georgia’s coast, near Savannah. This small, simple community is finding itself embroiled in a feud with local officials over a sudden, huge increase in property assessments that are raising property taxes as much as 600% for some.
Many say the increase could force them to sell their ancestral properties. “Sapelo being the only intact Gullah-Geechee community in the country that’s left, that is a part of history. It will be a shame not to preserve””That’s part of the American history. That’s part of what built this country,” said Charles Hall, 79, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel who was born under a midwife’s care in the same home he lives in today.
McIntosh County’s decision to reappraise homes on the island sparked the problem.
CNN article here
So much of being Black in America is seeing things that no one else sees, or wants to see. Sometimes, it turns out, there is indeed nothing there. […] And yet, many conspiracy theories are eventually proven true. The late Detroit mayor Coleman Young used to always say: “Just because you’re paranoid, don’t mean ain’t nobody out to get you.” Black people all over the world know that there are people out there who mean them harm and have a vested interest in writing off their claims as craziness, conspiracy theories, fantasy.
Thomas Jefferson did father Sally Hemings’s children; the CIA did help introduce crack cocaine into America’s inner cities; those doctors at Tuskegee Institute weren’t healing those Black men infected with syphilis; white folks in New Orleans, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. were plotting to reclaim neighborhoods from Blacks. The Chicago Police Department and the FBI did execute Black Panthers Fred Hampton and Mark Clark while they slept.
Here’s the thing about gentrification.
The upside is that there is more police presence, better public schools, your trash will get picked up, but there’s a downside. I’m not going to make a generalization. But, in many cases, when people move in they have this Christopher Columbus syndrome. There’s a great tradition [and] heritage in Harlem, Fort Greene and Bed-Stuy. You just can’t come in and blow up the spot like you been there forever.
My father is a great jazz musician, Bill Lee. Did the scores for She’s Gotta Have It, School Daze, Do the Right Thing, and Mo Better Blues. He’s been playing music in our home [in Fort Greene] since 1969. Now, some neighbor moved in, they’re calling the cops on my father saying he’s playing his music too loud. That’s some bullshit.
No one has ever complained, since 1969, about my father playing his jazz music. Now, this new person moves in, they calling the cops? The cops laugh at them! It’s that type of attitude man. That’s not making good neighbors. That’s not coming in the neighborhood being humble.
Mount Morris Park in Harlem. For years, brothers have played African drums on Sunday morning. Now…they’re gone. That’s disrespectful.
You go to Fort Greene today, it’s unrecognizable. Bed-Stuy do or die. Harlem. Lower East Side. DC’s not Chocolate City anymore.
Everybody in the Lower East Side, they moved to Williamsburg. Particularly, my Puerto Rican brother and sisters, they can’t afford Williamsburg anymore because of hipsters. They moved to Bushwick; pretty soon Bushwick is going to be like Williamsburg. After Coney Island there is nowhere else. After the beach at Coney Island, it’s the motherfucking Atlantic Ocean!
Spike Lee (via dreamsactualized)
Literally this. Do not come to Brooklyn like you own it and that natives to Brooklyn do not belong here. I’m a 3rd generation Brooklyn native. My family escaped the jim crow south on both sides to Brooklyn. Now they are being pushed out and around because a bunch of white 30 year olds think that their right to live in a neighborhood is more important than my family’s right to stay in their communities. They think their coffee shops and artisan donut spots are more important than the bodegas that sustained the communities for decades. Then you fucking come here and try to rename shit. It really is Christopher Columbus syndrome. Next person who tries to call Bed Stuy Bedford and Stuyvesant Town near me is getting a back hand. I have no problem with neighborhoods getting “better” and becoming more diverse, but do not, DO NOT, treat the people around you like they are the one’s who don’t fucking belong.
The family members, who did not want to be identified, told the Orlando Sentinel that the flier — from the Fort Christmas Knights of the Ku Klux Klan — upset the sense of security they feel in the 1,300-home development. “You would have to know where you were going to find our house,” one family member told the Orlando Sentinel, noting they lived about a mile from the entrance to Cypress Lakes, located on Chuluota Road north of State Road 50. “My concern is this is 2013 and, as an African-American, I cannot even fathom the KKK is just present … I thought we were over this.
Photo Caption: Bedford-Stuyvesant mom Eliana Luciano, 29, with her daughter Katherine, 6.
New York City neighborhoods attracting affluent new residents are also home to a more troubling trend - increasing child poverty.
East Harlem and Bedford-Stuyvesant scored high on the Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York’s new ranking of the Big Apple’s poorest communities.
“Pockets of extreme poverty persist in the city, even in neighborhoods that are often thought to be improving economically,” said CCC executive director Jennifer March-Joly.
Along strips like Bedford Ave. in Bedford-Stuyvesant and Lexington Ave. in East Harlem, wine bars, restaurants and chic boutiques have sprung up in recent years.
But the neighborhoods also have pockets of growing poverty, CCC found.
Since the recession began in 2008, the numbers of children living in poverty in East Harlem jumped from 31.6 percent to 44.2 percent in 2010.
In Bedford Stuyvestant, where the white population jumped 600% since 2000, the number of kids living in poverty increased from 39.6 percent in 2008 to 47 percent.
Median income for both neighborhoods was also surpringly low : Families with children under 18 in both East Harlem and Bedford Stuyvesant earned about $28,000 in 2010 - compared to the citywide average of about $61,000.
“You have young whites moving in,and minorities moving out. What is left behind are people who can’t afford to move out,” said CUNY graduate center sociologist Richard Alba.Single parent Eliana Luciano, 29, is about to lose her $1,070 one-bedroom apartment she shares with her daughter Katherine, 6 and elderly mom.
“I can’t afford my rent,” said Luciano who makes $7.60 an hour working at CVS. “It’s hard. You can’t find a decent job.”
Richard Toxe, a father of four who works as a nursing assistant, lives in Metro Plaza Houses on First Avenue in East Harlem, sandwiched between two new pricy luxury buildings with amenities like a shuttle bus and a white-gloved doorman.
“These buildings affected everything,” said Toxe complaining he has to travel uptown to buy milk and meat because his local Associated supermarket raised its prices.
There should be a White History Month in America. That way we can teach all about the things White Americans have done in history, like:
- Cherokee Trail of Tears
- Japanese American internment
- Philippine-American War
- Jim Crow
- The genocide of Native Americans
- Transatlantic slave trade
- The Middle Passage
- The history of White American racism
- Black Codes
- Slave patrols
- Ku Klux Klan
- The War on Drugs
- Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
- How white racism grew out of slavery and genocide
- How whites still benefit from slavery and genocide
- White anti-racism
- The Southern strategy
- The rape of black slave women
- Madison Grant
- The Indian Wars
- Human zoos
- How the Jews became white
- White flight
- Proposition 14
- Homestead Act
- Tulsa Riots
- Rosewood massacre
- Tuskegee Experiment
- Hollywood stereotypes
- Indian Appropriations Acts
- Immigration Act of 1924
- Sundown towns
- Chinese Exclusion Act
- Emmett Till
- Vincent Chin
- Indian boarding schools
- King Philip’s War
- Bacon’s Rebellion
- American slavery compared to Arab, Roman and Latin American slavery
- History of the gun
- History of the police
- History of prisons
- History of white suburbia
- Lincoln’s racism and anti-racism
- George Wallace
- Fox News
- Real estate steering
- School tracking
- Mass incarceration of black men
- Boston school busing riots
And so on. No fear of running out of topics: there is more than one a day! I am sure my commenters can come up with tons more, probably some big ones that are not coming to mind at the moment (I did not list slavery, the abolitionist movement, the civil war, Reconstruction or Lincoln since they are, in fact, covered in history class, however poorly).
Austin’s geographic divide has a specific legal past. As I came to learn, African Americans had been living throughout the city in the early 1900’s, until a 1928 city plan proposed concentrating all services for black residents—parks, libraries, schools—on the East Side to avoid duplicating them elsewhere (this was in the time of “separate but equal”). Racial zoning was unconstitutional, but this policy accomplished the same thing. By 1940, most black Austinites were living between Seventh and Twelfth streets, while the growing Mexican American population was consolidating just south of that.