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Gentrification is the flood of wealthier individuals and businesses into lower-income neighborhoods, changing demographics, culture, and economic landscapes. It often leads to property renovations, high-end amenities, and rent going up, displacing long-time residents and perpetuating socio-economic disparities, despite potential benefits like improved housing and reduced crime rates.

In the article “what’s happened to the people?” Gentrification and segregation in Brooklyn”, the author talks about the connection between gentrification and racial segregation in Brooklyn, New York, focusing on Black Brooklyn. With over 2.6 million residents, Brooklyn is the fourth largest city in the USA, home to 788,000 Blacks and 692,000 in Black Brooklyn. Although it was expected for all races to live amongst each other, gentrification has led to the displacement of thousands of long-term African American residents, raising questions about the effects of these processes on African Americans.

Gentrification involves decision-makers including real estate developers, investors, city planners, local government officials, and community organizations. Developers bring up the ideas of investment in gentrifying neighborhoods, while planners and government officials influence zoning policies, tax incentives, and housing investments. Community organizations and activists may advocate for this to end and leave our community as it is.The impact of gentrification is not consistent across the world, with low-income residents, women, LGBTQ+ individuals, and communities of color most vulnerable. 

Where I grew up is currently being gentrified. Flatbush, Brooklyn is home to so many caribbean people and just black people in general. Everyone who grew up around me was black, and we were all so used to seeing each other. We made the best of our community, always eating within it and rarely going other places to eat. Now, there’s white people everywhere. They’re moving into cheap apartments while also having a ton of wealth. I personally feel as if they’re taking places that should belong to black families especially those families who struggled to make ends meet.

To me, ending gentrification would take time but it can happen. It’ll have to include bringing the community together to empower and implement our voices in our community. Trying to stop people from maybe moving into the area might help too but there’s only so much to do. It would definitely have to be a community effort where everyone wants to end it. I really do care about ending gentrification because seeing where I grew up become separated due to wealthier people taking advantage of our environment, hurts my inner child. I’ve built  bonds with corner store workers, crossing guards, even people selling stuff on the street. I grew up seeing them everyday like they lived with me.

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