Gentrification: The creation of a “New” New Orleans through Politics and Economics.

Gentrification: The creation of a “New” New Orleans through Politics and Economics

When I began my research on Gentrification, I had no idea the word was coined by a white British Socialist in 1964. She made it known that it was nothing more than wealthy people displacing poor people. In her research, she noticed the changes that were taking place in various socioeconomic neighborhoods and how it primarily affected low-class people. In 2018, the manifestation of Gentrification continues to affect hundreds of thousands of African-Americans all over America. Now, let’s examine the social economics and living conditions in New Orleans and the effect Gentrification has made. After Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans has not been the same. The sum of 90,000 people were displaced and did not return to the place they once called home. For many, however; the effects of Hurricane Katrina made it possible for blacks to improve their living conditions and afford a more viable lifestyle and income. However, it doesn’t change how African-Americans still continue to live. It is sad that we are still living a form of slavery. The only difference is that we are not being whipped physically, but we are still being whipped psychologically.

Over the years, the resurgence of white suburbia has been cause for concern in the black community. Everyday, the property in urban America is being bought and sold in disadvantaged communities. The influx of property sales has tripled in New Orleans and the price for real estate in urban areas has become “prime real estate”. Nonetheless, the Caucasian buying power has made it easy for them to easily transition into areas that were once considered a “black neighborhood” is now populated by Caucasians. The ramifications of both social and economic conditions affect many. In some ways, we are to blame. Throughout this generation, we have been given a powerful tool in our arsenal and that is “our right to vote.” The 15th amendment allows us to do so, but we don’t take advantage of what our ancestors had to go through to give us this privilege. When I look at some of my people, I describe the current dilemma that we are faced with and that is called “The Urban Effect.” The Urban Effect is the psychological condition that elicits a behavior of acceptance, satisfaction, hostility, betrayal and then I don’t give a fuck syndrome. What bullshit! It is very much unnecessary, especially when children deserve the opportunity to grow and prosper in a time when a foundation is everything. From the blatant deconstruction of their neighborhoods being destroyed to the demolition of impoverished schools being turned into a fully functioning, institutions were not rebuilt to better educate our children.

How can the revitalization of new schools exclude the children who grew up in that neighbor? The ridiculous test that they are given to be admitted to the new and improved school is nothing more than politicians playing with our children future. It is time to stop settling for anything. There are enough wealthy blacks in the community who can make a difference, but we have to stick together and support our own and stop running down the street to the Pakistani, Asian, Hispanic or Iranians stores. Get some respect for yourself, let’s use the power of money to be selective and take a stand in spending in our community to make difference.

Deborah Ford



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