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.
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!