The changing color of our neighborhoods
Dwayne Williams has lived in the Clinton Hill section of Brooklyn for 38 years. He feels gentrification is pushing him out.
July 25th, 2012
12:42 PM ET

The changing color of our neighborhoods

Listen: The changing color of our neighborhoods
By Steve Kastenbaum, CNN

(CNN) – The complexion of some of America’s cities is changing. According to the last census, four of the 25 fastest gentrifying zip codes are in Brooklyn, New York. Upwardly mobile families are moving back into urban centers, reversing a trend of the 1970’s commonly called "white flight."

[:57] “To me, gentrification is when a certain group of people move into a neighborhood and they totally take it over. They bring in all their values and their lifestyle,” said Michele Payne, a long time resident of the Clinton Hill section of Brooklyn, NY.

Middle and upper middle class people are lured by affordable prices and an underutilized housing stock into communities within an easy commute of work centers. They are changing the dynamics of neighborhoods that were once considered unappealing because of high crime rates, low performing schools and a lack of services. According to the last census, four of the 25 fastest gentrifying zip codes are in Brooklyn, New York.

[6:39] “If you own, then you’re property has appreciated. If you rent, your rent has gone sky high. Some people who were here for 20 or 30 years have sour grapes because they rent and they resent the prosperity they see in other people coming in,” said Grant Taylor, a long time home owner in Clinton Hill.

That resentment comes from a belief that poor people are being forced out of neighborhoods by the newcomers. Rising rents and property values make it difficult for some families to stick around according to Valery Jean, Executive Director of Families United for Racial and Economic Equality, or FUREE.

[4:31] “It puts families in like this weird space. So not only are families being displaced but it’s also saying in a sense that the city doesn’t value you as a human being based on your color. So in a way it has translated into what we feel is economic segregation,” said Jean.

Read the full post on CNN's Soundwaves blog 

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Filed under: Economy • History • How we live • Where we live
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Elrey Jones

    Africans in America have brought the massive contempt other races have for them totally upon themselves and by their own doing. Some say due to the high testosterone levels and low brain sizes that africans in America can't make it without racial quotas and affirmative action. All I know is their level of violence against other races is totally unacceptable and should be condemned nationally. It would be if the international bolsheviks didn't rule. Sure would.

    August 16, 2012 at 6:15 am | Report abuse |
  2. Sharon Clark

    If you want to know about being Black in America Do not ever go to Stillwater, Ok. It is the most racist city in the country and the entire law enforcement is racist. Ask me how I know my son is being railroaded right now and I have been trying to get help.

    July 26, 2012 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
  3. jackson

    What's wrong with a little Flava in the hood???

    July 25, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |