Gentrification

“Whose block is it anyway?” narrates one of the most visible and contested shifts in the cityscape in the 21st century—gentrification.

The series explores gentrification in over 15 cities and historic neighborhoods in the United States. Ark Republic enlisted over a dozen storytellers; from long-form journalism to short docs, podcasts, photo stories and even creative writing, contributors sculpt an extensive and innovative lens in over 25 pieces of work.

Los Angeles ◊ Oakland ◊ Newark ◊ Wilmington, NC ◊ Spanish Harlem ◊ Brooklyn ◊ Inglewood ◊ Chicago ◊ Jacksonville ◊ Phoenix ◊ Seattle ◊ Mobile, AL ◊ East Village ◊ New Orleans ◊ San Francisco ◊ Atlanta ◊ Cleveland ◊ Phoenix

Namesakes: AfricaTown, a 153 year-ago-old Alabama community founded to preserve West African cultural ties, becomes sister-city with another Africatown, an initiative to save Black Seattle

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Africatown, two Black communities with the same name, located across the country from each other, face a similar challenge—involuntary out-migration.

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The changing of San Francisco’s food, culture and identity

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Ark Republic followed up with Chef Wanda Blake on food culture in San Francisco. Through the waves of gentrification since the late 1960s, we wanted to know about the shift in the food culture of the city.

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From Atlanta to Nigeria: A Conversation on Gentrification

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For Ark Republic’s gentrification series, urban planner and professor, Nmadili Okwumabua, tells of her time spent at town halls in the early 2000s, with residents pushing back against encroaching developers.

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Post-Hurricane Katrina, three generations of New Orleans women remain in historic neighborhoods though gentrification makes it harder

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In 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated most Black neighborhoods in New Orleans, resulting in displacement for hundreds of thousands of people. Many did not make it back, but for those who did, staying gets harder every year. With gentrification, now “stragglers” buy up land and change the dynamics of tight-knit communities.

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The Garcetti-fication of Los Angeles: A Gentrification Cautionary Tale

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This year, Housing Is A Human Right released a sweeping investigative report about government-sanctioned gentrification in Los Angeles. Mayor Eric Garcetti stands at the center of this important exposé. As the second largest city in the United States, the largely untold story about L.A.’s devastating gentrification crisis is a must-read cautionary tale for the rest

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Welcome to gentrification America | Think Piece

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  • Market Street between Halsey Street and Washington Street in Newark, New Jersey.
  • The barber brotherhood. Ab of Iconic Styles, Newark, New Jersey
  • Surviving gentrification.The barber brotherhood. Eric of New Wave Unisex, Newark, New Jersey
  • Jay of Epic Creations keeps his barber chairs swinging to service local customers in Newark, New Jersey.

With the changing commercial district in Newark, New Jersey, a shift in commercial real estate and leasing made it harder for small businesses. Comparing a popular African American hairstyle, ‘the Brooklyn’ with gentrification, local mom-and-pops try to stay afloat against big box companies entering into Newark’s downtown.

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Southern Comfort | The World is a Gamble | Comic Strip

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Southern Comfort

Matthew Gamble’s comic strip, The World is a Gamble presents a satirical, but true experience of Blacks participating in a reverse migration back down South.

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The G in Gentrification | Say Word

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A poem and performance giving raw truths of how the real gangster in Chicago is gentrification.

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A chef’s tale: San Francisco’s Black-owned businesses leave entrepreneurial legacy

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San Francisco carries a rich, African American culinary history. Documented by San Franciscan, Chef Wanda Blake, she also talks about how gentrification changed the neighborhood she called home and nourished both her soul and hunger for entrepreneurship.

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Fading away: Barbershops and gentrification in Downtown Newark, New Jersey | Photo Story

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The hair industry is the thermometer of a nation’s economy. As barbershops in Downtown Newark, New Jersey navigate gentrification, they also show the serious struggle of longtime residents against a changing landscape both economically and racially. While they created the city’s culture and swag, Newark leaves many behind.

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Reaping the rewards of a Renaissance: Black business owners in Inglewood keep doors open in spite of city’s gentrification

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Entrepreneurs in one of the few Black business enclaves in Los Angeles remain optimistic as an NFL sports stadium finishes construction, and the possible headquarters of NBA’s LA Clippers loom, Inglewood’s development preps for what they say is a renaissance.

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Two sides to every city: Washington DC in the era of gentrification

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Washington DC is a city fighting to hold onto its culture and identity in the midst of rising housing costs, taxes and an influx of non-native residents.

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When franchise players and teams cause gentrification | Sports talk with Chase Matthews | Podcast

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When NBA and NFL franchise players in professional sports find their way to a city, it is more than fanfare and hysteria. Literally, players can change the demographics and the economies of metropolises; especially those experiencing hard financial times.

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Between a block and a hard place | Da Gambling Man | Comic Strip

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An annual, neighborhood block party in Harlem gets shut down after police respond to a complaint made by “new neighbors” who called law enforcement on longtime residents, claiming that their loud noise and suspicious activity were a threat.

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Making waves: Wilmington, North Carolina gentrification post-Hurricane Florence | Short Doc

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Manuel Lloyd and Dalvonte Howard look at how a real estate company forced low income, Black community members in Wilmington, North Carolina, out of their homes after some units in an apartment complex were damaged by 2018 major storm, Hurricane Florence.

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Artists: The last disrupters in Oakland

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Artists at Jack London Square fight for visibility and a permanent store in Oakland, showing one of the remaining groups pushing against gentrification.

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Closing: How gentrification led to losing Brooklyn’s last machine shop | Story & Photos

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Brooklyn, blue collar workers at a machine shop mainstay, built careers and familial ties. Now, they collect memories in the final days before it shutters.

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Them: Bushwick women fighting gentrification | Short Doc

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For Ark Republic’s “Whose Block is it Anyway?” Sabeena Singhani, gives voice to residents living in Bushwick Brooklyn who negotiate their space and identity in the midst of gentrification.

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Newark vs ‘Nork’ . . . Whose block is it anyway?

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  • "Newsie," Roland, an 11-year-old newsboy in Newark. August 1, 1924. Photo credit Lewis Wickes Hines
  • Jewish Newsboys in Newark, NJ. Image shot circa 1910.
  • Vintage photo between 1900-1937 shows boys and a girl at buggy. The Hurdy Gurdy collection. Photo credit: New York Digital Public Library
  • Newark Suffrage hikers on way to Washington walking through city on Broad Street. Hike organized and led by Rosalie Jones, February 12, 1913. Photo credit: Everett Historical Society
  • Newark's colored women open a club to care for their men who served in WWI. Circa 1918. Mayor's Office, Newark, NJ. (War Dept.)
  • Newark women in a civil defense unit in drill practice in 1940. Molly Pitcher Brigrade was formed a year before the US entered World War II. Photo credit: Everette Historical Society
  • Broad Street, Central Ward in Newark, New Jersey. Homes sit across from what today is Lincoln Park.
  • 651 1/2 Broad Street at Centre Market Newark 1870. Currently this is across the street from the federal court buildings and Newark's main downtown post office.
  • Shoppers eat at new Whole Foods Market in Newark, NJ on opening day, March 1, 2017. Photo credits: Richard B. Levine

The history of Black and brown ownership in Newark, NJ, in a time where we question not if the city is undergoing gentrification, but where does that leave opportunity for growth and inclusion for natives.

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When sports complexes bring gentrification | Sports Talk with Chase Matthews | Podcast

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Chase Matthews with guest host, Kaylah Brown, talk about what happens to communities when a franchise builds a sports complex there.

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Hipster invasion: Da Gambling Man | Comic Strip

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Going home can be a momentous occasion or one of great loss. Like the old Spanish Harlem residents in Da Gambling Man who crave for a taco from a local eatery that was once a staple. To their surprise, they encountered a new species, the hipster—a reminder that even the food is getting gentrified.

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Love notes in a lens: Gentrification in the East Village | Photo Story

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New Wall on New Building for New Gentry

A fight for tenants rights and subsequent involvement in a grassroots movement made a local photographer capture their changing East Village in Manhattan.

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‘Whose block is it, anyway?’ An introduction into Ark Republic’s major collaborative project

Brooklyn, Bronx, Austin, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Newark, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Oakland, Houston, and Philadelphia—are just some of the cities around the country experiencing dramatic shifts in its landscape. The phenomenon is best defined as gentrification.

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Three cities, three gentrifications: From the city of angels to the Black Mecca and stopping in the Bricks

When I moved to Newark, New Jersey in 2007, it became the third consecutive city I lived in where gentrification destabilized Black communities residing there for generations.

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Blaxit: An Exodus in Los Angeles

Through forced migration and gentrification, which promised a better life, Black folks in Los Angeles, in the early 80s, met resistance and suffered unintended consequences. In essence, we traded one type of community violence—such as gangs, drugs, and poverty—for the physical, emotional and financial violence of racism from dominant cultures.

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Bittered Beliefs: A Bronx tale

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While reflecting on long-held beliefs, a young Bronx native comes to terms with how she truly sees her home.

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Anti-eviction mapping project gives the people tools that dismantle the master’s house

The uncertainties of homeless and displacement fuel an anti-eviction collection to disrupt the 1 percent by hacking and redistributing the master’s tools.

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