The Reality of Gentrification

Your chiefs have gone against the Lord, they have become friends of thieves; every one of them is looking for profit and going after rewards; they do not give right decisions for the child who has no father, and they do not let the cause of the widow come before them. Isaiah 1:23


“I love exactly where I live at and I’m going be here until the day that I die.”

This is one of the many expressions that my mother says to any of us children when the topic comes up about her moving from the neighborhood she has always known.

My mother, who is in her eighties and her neighbor sat outside recently, taking advantage of the beautiful warm day.

As they sat chatting, a stranger stopped in front of them and asked who was the owner of the property.

My mother, stated to the man. “I am.”

Then the man proceeded with another direct question.

“Do you want to sell your house? ”

And my mother gave him a cut and straight answer. “No.”

Now, you would have thought that once the question had received a reply that this man would have accepted the owner’s response and just moved on.

But, it didn’t end that way.

Instead, this man wished to leave a poison message before his departure.

As it was told to me, the man then says to my mother.

“That’s okay…when do you expect to die?

My mother shared with me that she didn’t mince her words by letting the man know that she had children and grandchildren that she could pass on her property too.

Then the man continued going down the street and through the neighborhood.

Writing this post, right now is therapeutic for me because when anger sets in, I may at times; allow my flesh to rise up and get in the way of Christian peacefulness and wisdom.

Believe me when I tell you that having heard what had transpired between my mother and this despicable man, caused me several hours to ponder on which way I wanted to see him get his just due.

Since it is not like me to verbally or physically attack this man, I did curse him. Yes, I said, “Lord, whoever he is and wherever he might be, I curse him and pray that his death would come before my mother’s death. ”

Now, I’m keeping this real.

Gentrification is a general term for the arrival of wealthier people in an existing urban district, a related increase in rents and property values, and changes in the district’s character and culture.

The reality of Gentrification is that people become expendable and the communities in which many minorities reside in the city become like the Gold Rush in California in the late 1800s.

It angers me to no end to think that after my mother’s retirement that someone thoughtless like this man would come along and try to steal her peace of mind.

Well, I haven’t met the man who is hoping for my mother’s early death.

And I’m pretty sure he would not be willing to repeat those words to my siblings or I (or the three generations that are living and thriving).

Yet, this man represents the true underbelly of what cities across this nation name as “urban renewal. ”

The truth of the matter is that Gentrification has never benefited those of meager assets. Instead,  Gentrification appeals to those in the higher income bracket and those in the political chain who are willing to sell their souls for a few crumbs, just to benefit their own personal and political ambitions.

And Gentrification doesn’t discriminate (Black, White, Asian, Indian, Latino…).

Yes, progress is a welcome opportunity to see improvements…but not at the expense of taking away from those who feel they don’t have the power to fight against those who at the moment wield power to destroy people lives, no matter the cost.

More about Gentrification, check out this insightful news article at

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