Gentrification!

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Across the street from the closed-down and shuttered shops, is the face of gentrification. Close the shops that catered to Black people so that those 'whites' who take up residence in these 'upscale apartments' don't have to see what they don't want to see. Fuck this shit!

Across the street from the closed-down and shuttered shops, is the face of gentrification. Close the shops that catered to Black people so that those ‘whites’ who take up residence in these ‘upscale apartments’ don’t have to see what they don’t want to see.
Fuck this shit!

 

Once teeming with life,
now emptied and shuttered,
waiting on the new tenants
upscale, not down on their luck
from those luxury condos, across the street.
Vacant, I sit with gates closed,
closed to those who were not afraid
to walk through my doors before
the drums of gentrification beat
down on my steel bars
as they sigh and give way
to the pressure of urban renewal.
Where are the people,
the real people?
They have all been moved
across the bridge; out of sight,
those considered, an urban blight!
“Don’t come this way again!”
The new urban dwellers
have no need for discounts
or rotgut liquor and cheap wine.
For them, it is cloth-covered tables
and the choicest meats on which to dine.
They didn’t put this city on the map,
nor will they love her the way my people did.
She is just a trend for them,
these new urbanites;
rich, spoiled whites.
They soil this city
with their bulldozers;
gutting her like she’s a fish.
Assaulting her with their
trendy, upscale shops
and parks for their dogs to play in.
No room for my people
and they want it that way;
these rich, spoiled whites
who were yesterday’s suburbanites.

Written by,
Shelby I. Courtland
©2016 Shelby I. Courtland

As I stroll around Baltimore, I take note of a city under siege. She is under siege thanks to gentrification. This city, like Washington, D.C. had a majority Black population. Washington, D.C. is no longer called, “Chocolate City” because of gentrification and these white shits here are planning the same for Baltimore.

When I left Baltimore years ago, Lexington Street and surrounding streets were teeming with shops; shops that catered to Black people. Fast forward a few years and those stores were made to close down because whites decided that Baltimore was the place to live and to do so, Black people had to go. There could be no ‘co-existing’. HealthCare For The Homeless was moved from the area as well as other agencies that catered to those who were ‘down-on-their-luck’. Black people made Baltimore and now ‘whites’ are trying to run Black people out of Baltimore. Well, I am making it known, here and now, that I am going to do whatever it takes to make sure that Baltimore does not go the route of Washington, D.C. and ‘white’ motherfuckers, you are going to find  out that the Black people in Baltimore are not going to give up so easily. I am on the streets, daily and just so you know, it is on, motherfuckers! I don’t know what the fuck was wrong with those Black people over in Washington, D.C., but you are going to find out that here in Baltimore, we ain’t some weak punk ass bitches. If you don’t know, now you know! Fuck you motherfuckers! Because I am ‘Blackifiying’ YOUR neighborhoods! Yeah! Me and my homeys are in your neighborhoods! All up in your fucking grill! That’s right! We are walking through your ‘gentrified’ shit every single day! So fucking get used to it! Now, where the fuck you gone move???!! Head the fuck on over to D.C., you see-through skinned rejects from hell!

30 thoughts on “Gentrification!

  1. Gentrification was one of the major issues we fought in Seattle when I was on the board of the African American Heritage Museum. Seattle’s black community arose immediately adjacent to downtown (because that’s where the jobs were when they migrated north from the south). When Seattle’s industrial base shut down in the 70s and 80s, the city fathers decided that the property in the primarily black “Central District” was too “valuable” to remain in the hands of elderly African Americans who had owned homes there for decades.

    The two main weapons used to clear the Central District of African Americans was the Interstate 90 extension project – deliberately routing the Interstate through African American neighborhoods and destroying hundreds of black homes and businesses in the processes (I understand this was done in numerous US cities) – and Reagan’s Weed and Seed program. Under this program, if a child or grandchild of a black home owner was found to have a cannabis stash in the house, the home could be seized by the police even if the owner was in no way implicated in drug use or possession. I knew of several instances in which a grandparent went into the hospital to get their diabetes regulated and were discharged to find their home and furnishings seized by the police. They had absolutely no recourse for getting their home back.

    A number of homes and businesses were also seized as a result of the 1980s Savings and Loan failure. If a bank or S&L that controlled your mortgage went bust, you came under the jurisdiction of Bush’s corrupt Resolution Trust Corporation. I was co-owner (with an African American businessman) of a commercial building in Seattle’s Central District that was stolen from us in this way (by white developers).

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    • I am not shocked at all. HUD was also complicit in this shit. I’ve read up on that HUD shit and it needs to go the route of all the other dinosaurs because it is designed to keep certain people in certain areas while paying rich ‘white’ slumlords millions of taxpayer dollars to house a segment of the population, out of sight. I have never seen hide nor hair of any HUD housing that was actually safe, sanitary and decent. Au contraire! And when I first started blogging, I blogged extensively about that HUD shit and I also read up on what HUD did to poor Black people all across AmeriKKKa. It is unconscionable!

      And yet ‘whites’ got the nerve to pretend to protest over the murder of Black people by racist ass kkkops when they are hell bent on gentrifying this entire shithole called AmeriKKKa? For real? Really? They better stay the fuck outta my face with that bullshit! I have been saying over and over again that Black people need to start going on the offensive and handling shit for ourselves. We got resources. We just don’t know how to connect with each other, but I am working on that here. We don’t need the likes of Jay Z or Colin Kaepernick to point out the obvious. We need to get our act together and I am determined that this is what is going to happen here. I can only hope that it will spread, nationwide.

      Dr. Bramhall, I thank you for that most relevant comment.

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  2. Same in Atlanta! You see brand new builds across from boarded up houses and overgrown lots! I hate to say it, but you know when you’re in a “Black” neighborhood. And you know shit is poppin off when you see a white jogger, a white parent pushing a stroller or walking a dog in these neighborhoods! It’s disgusting!

    But I agree with Cliff; if we don’t collectively come together and buy these homes and buildings, they will.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kelley, we are starting an ‘initiative’ here to counter that and we know what we need to do to counter this shit. In this city, I am still somewhat of a ‘legend’ if I may be so bold as to state that because when I was here before, I was standing with mic in hand, rousing the crowds to attend political meetings that were, in essence, about gentrification and some of that shit was stopped. Now, what happened after I left, I don’t know, but I am back and I am just getting started.

      There are those of us who have pledged to put our money where our mouth is and we will soon be off the ground. We are not just talking, we are out there listening, watching and gaining in numbers as well as in dollars. We know what we have to do and we have no choice but to get it done. Will it be easy? Hell no! Because things have gotten out of control. But we’ve got to try and we’ve got to start somewhere.

      And you are so right! You know when you are in a ‘white’ neighborhood and where I live, I am rubbing shoulders with the motherfuckers that own the Chinese take-outs, those Hindu motherfuckers that own all the convenience stores on every inner city corner and with those ‘white’ motherfuckers that are out jogging while pushing baby strollers while also giving motherfucking Fido his exercise. We is ALL out there and the looks they give me could freeze hell over, but I love it! Yeah! There ‘goes’ the neighborhood! Because they figure where one is, another is gonna pop up soon and you know what? They is right! Next on the list is to buy up the property that has been left to rot and open “Holla 4 A Dollar” and “Colla A Dolla!” and a lot of other stores that were shuttered to make way for gentrification. Pretty soon, you’ll be hearing some strange news coming from out of Baltimore!

      Kelley, I thank you for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, there are neighborhoods in Baltimore that no ‘white’ foot would ever dare step foot in because Black people have been pushed so far from the ‘white’ areas, it is unreal and that goddamn piece of shit health care system known as Johns Hopkins has played a tremendous role in Baltimore’s undoing. When I lived here 14 years ago, the Mount Vernon area and Charles Village had a mixture of Black people and ‘whites’ and the rents were low. Hell! My first apartment there was $325 a month. And I lived 4 blocks from downtown and could walk to my job downtown. That same apartment is now costing over 4 times that amount because JHU came through there and announced that Mount Vernon and Charles Village is now for student housing. Johns Hopkins has expanded way past where the hospital is and has taken over the entire area. Even the students can’t afford the digs, thus the listings for 4-5 roommates just to be able to afford to live there.

        To prove my point, I pulled up different listings for apartments and roommate wanted ads and what I found was astounding. Believe me, before I open my mouth at meetings I’ve been attending, I do my homework and have statistics to back up what I’m saying. You would be hard pressed to find Black people living in Fells Point and even back in my day, Fells Point was expensive to live and today, it is even more outrageously so.

        Liked by 1 person

      • True dat! And how can a so-called ‘health care system’ such as what Johns Hopkins claims to be that is hell bent on gentrification be doing any good to the Black patients who enter its doors? It can’t. And that is why so many Black people are doing so poorly, health wise. GEEZUS KRIST, I got so goddamn much to do, it is unreal! Good thing I got a bit of leisure time in before getting down to business. Have mercy! The more I see, the more I wish I had 80,000 arms to pitch in and help!

        Thanks Kelley!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s even more wide spread than you think sis. Even here in the Caribbean, whites and Arabs want to own the best places on the island. Hell just last year alone a friend of mine who inherited a plot of land from her grandfather (mind you it is a very big land) this Arab guy came with all his big white lawyers and tried to sweet talk her in to selling the land for less that what it was worth. Luckily my sista had the fortitude to say HELL NO!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • And another thing I lived in Baltimore for a year. I recently rode through the city and my heart was hurt at how downtrodden our people were. I was bought to tears. We need action now! And I’m seeing that comments can be liked on your page but I don’t see how to like other peoples comments.

      Liked by 1 person

      • @25, Black, and Alive,

        I know exactly what you mean. I have shed so many tears over what I’ve seen, it is unreal. I have seen so many Black people with missing toes, missing feet and missing legs. There are so many in wheelchairs due to diabetes, it is an epidemic. The fucking doctors here are having a field day with the Black people, tearing them up from head to toe. Not one doctor, is preaching nutrition or how to counter diabetes. I need to be 80,000 people all rolled into one because there is so much need here, I am struck speechless and wish I could be doing a million things at once.

        There are so many people who are just emptied-eyed shells. These people have been beaten beyond all reason. I was on the bus the other day and a guy in a wheelchair got on and the bus driver did not even get up to secure the wheelchair. The poor man had to rise up out of his chair to hold on to the strap that was hanging on the pole that was placed there for people who are standing up on the bus. I got out my phone and videotaped that. The next day, a female got on the bus in a wheelchair and the same thing happened.

        Now, I’ve just come here from Minnesota and every single time I have ever caught the bus there and a person in a wheelchair got on, the bus driver got up and secured the wheelchair. What is the difference between Minnesota and Maryland, especially Baltimore, MD? More Black people are riding public transit. I am going to be posting some of this shit on YouTube because it needs to be seen.

        But despite ALL of this, I have also seen much fire in the people of Baltimore. Many of them are not whimpering and moaning and gnashing their teeth, they are aware of what is happening to them and they ain’t hardly happy about it. This city is a powder keg that only needs a slight spark to blow. And even though many are severely down, they are not yet down for the count. They may be fucked up, but I’m not counting them out! Not by a long shot. One thing about Black people, we have suffered so long, it’s all we know and we can still get up and kick ass when we have reached our limit. It just takes some of us longer to reach that boiling point.

        There is so much to do here, I get exhausted just thinking about it. I fucking swear, I wish I had never left. It was not this bad 14 years ago. I have not seen the like!

        Liked by 1 person

    • @ Nidotopianwarrior!

      Good on her for saying “HELL NO!!!” to that shit! Not all of us are willing to sell out! There are always going to be sell-outs, but goddamn it if I’m one and it is good to know that I am not alone. I am absolutely disgusted at what is going down where you live Nido because it would seem that no place is immune to gentrification. Those nasty, filthy ass fuckers got rich from slavery and are fucking us over, STILL! And what do we do about it? Why, we just take it up the ass and beg for more! Goddamn it! When is enough, enough??!!!

      I thank you for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think your blog is part of the solution. It puts your word out there for people to hear it who never may have come in contact with you. There are days when I feel as if I’m in this war fighting it all by myself. Then I click in your site and others and see that I am not alone. Just to let you know that you are appreciated.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You are truly an inspiration! I really mean that because I intend to find the time from somewhere to let others know that we are here. We may not be able to post everyday or even every week, but when I can, I will post such as what this post is about.

        We cannot lose hope even though what we have to do seems herculean. As long as we are alive, we can do something, even if it seems as though it’s baby steps that we are taking. If we can help someone, one person at a time, that is a HUGE thing, in and of itself. Some of us may think that we can do nothing. We cannot hold on to that attitude. It is not always all about money, there are other ways to fight and to help and as I go on this journey, I shall post from the little to the big and that everyone is needed, regardless of what they have or don’t have. We must help each other if we are to thrive and not merely struggle to survive and to continue to be pushed out of our homes.

        I love my people and I just hope it shows!

        Thank you SO very much for that most thoughtful and inspiring comment 25, Black, and Alive. It is most sincerely appreciated!

        And as you can see, I found the ‘like’ button for comments, thanks to you, as well.

        Stay strong brotha!

        Liked by 1 person

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