This book uses qualitative data to explore the experiences and ideas of African Americans confronting and constructing gentrification in Washington, D.C. It contextualizes Black Washingtonians’ perspectives on belonging and attachment during a marked period of urban restructuring and demographic change in the Nation’s Capital and sheds light on the process of social hierarchies and standpoints unfolding over time. African Americans and Gentrification in Washington, D.C. emerges as a portrait of a heterogeneous African American population wherein members define their identity and culture as a people informed by the impact of injustice on the urban landscape. It presents oral history and ethnographic data on current and former African American residents of D.C. and combines these findings with analyses from institutional, statistical, and scholarly reports on wealth inequality, shortages in affordable housing, and rates of unemployment. Prince contends that gentrification seizes upon and fosters uneven development, vulnerability and alienation and contributes to classed and racialized tensions in affected communities in a book that will interest social scientists working in the fields of critical urban studies and urban ethnography. African Americans and Gentrification in Washington, D.C. will also invigorate discussions of neoliberalism, critical whiteness studies and race relations in the 21st Century.
Contents: Introduction; Gentrification, race, and neoliberalism in Washington, DC; Race, and class hierarchies in DC history; Arrival, belonging, difference: exploring the oral histories of elder African Americans; Race, place, representation, and attachment; Race, class and the individual dynamics of gentrification; Race, class, and the collective responses to gentrification; Furthering an anthropology of gentrification in DC; Bibliography; Index.
About the Author: Sabiyha Prince is a cultural anthropologist and independent scholar who resides in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area.
Reviews: ‘An important and much anticipated study that places race at the center of a rigorous and sustained analysis of gentrification. As skillful in exposing the neoliberal policies at the root of gentrification as it is in appreciating the look and feel of gentrification as lived by residents. An eye-opener and must-read work.’Arlene Davila, New York University, USA‘African Americans and Gentrification in Washington, D.C. represents a brand of rigorous and ambitious scholarship on urban culture that should serve as a valuable model for other scholars attempting to work across the boundaries of traditional disciplinary formations. Prince brings a meticulous eye and deft analytical focus to the issue of gentrification in contemporary black America. I can’t wait to use this book in class.’John L. Jackson, Jr., University of Pennsylvania, USA
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