Last week we learned about how gentrification comes about and how old laws continue to influence the current housing market. To get caught up be sure to check out Part 1, 2, & 3.
It is extremely disappointing to witness the United States once again sitting back and witnessing these injustices happen before their eyes and not take legal actions against it. It has been almost two centuries since Andrew Jackson started this cruel trend of finding ways to force people out of their homes, yet we’re still finding ways to justify the removal of thousands of people of color yearly. We as a society have been prioritizing capital gain over the safety and securities of people’s lives, especially those of minorities. This seemingly never-ending cycle leads me to ask myself – how will this issue embody itself next?
After reading this article, you may feel a plethora of emotions. You may feel confused, angry, disappointed, frustrated, and many others. What can you do to help in a system that has been in place for decades, and may continue to be in place. Chris offers the following advice:
Acknowledge the effects of gentrification that are taking place in our own communities within Providence. Spread the word and reach out to those in power who can help. Appreciation of these enclaves and sacred spaces of communities of color can be done without appropriation. Use social media or infuse these beautiful spaces into your lessons or presentations. Embrace the systems communities of color have put in place for themselves without destabilizing or destroying them. Speak WITH not FOR.
Protect families right to have affordable housing and rent control so that they can continue living is a community with historical value to them. Know your rights and share them with others. Many communities who have been historically underresourced may not know what they can do.
Do your research! The government took away many real estate licenses up to the 90s, particularly those who belong to people of color. At that point it wasn’t even about affording homes, it was about basic access to areas. Read up about how the Midwest has a movement to make sure housing is accessible to communities of color. Read up on rent control, which can be a vital factor for communities to stay.
Listen to the In The Thick podcast. They have an episode dedicated to these housing issues, but the series is told from a person of color’s perspective. Learn from those directly affected by these kinds of issues.
Boyd, Sophia Alvarez. “‘There Isn’t A Just Housing Choice’: How We’ve Enabled The Pains Of Gentrification.” NPR. January 28, 2018. https://www.npr.org/2018/01/28/581280992/there-isn-t-a-just-housing-choice-how-we-ve-enabled-the-pains-of-gentrification.
Digital Scholarship Lab. “Mapping Inequality.” Digital Scholarship Lab. https://dsl.richmond.edu/panorama/redlining/.
Gross, Terry. “A ‘Forgotten History’ Of How The U.S. Government Segregated America.” NPR. May 03, 2017. https://www.npr.org/2017/05/03/526655831/a-forgotten-history-of-how-the-u-s-government-segregated-america.
Hannah-Jones, Nikole. “Living Apart: How the Government Betrayed a Landmark Civil Rights Law.” ProPublica. https://www.propublica.org/article/living-apart-how-the-government-betrayed-a-landmark-civil-rights-law.
“An Open Letter to Jamaica Plain on The Whole Foods Effect.” Open Media Boston. http://www.openmediaboston.org/node/1726.
Rothstein, Richard. The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America.
Schlichtman, John Joe, Marc Lamont. Hill, Jason Patch, and Peter Marcuse. Gentrifier.
“Transcript of President Andrew Jackson’s Message to Congress ‘On Indian Removal’ (1830).” Our Documents – National Industrial Recovery Act (1933). https://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=false&doc=25&page=transcript.