Friday, July 22, 2011

Emotional Rescue

Ta-Nehisi Coates, a senior editor at The Atlantic, is writing some interesting things about gentrification, which happens to be one of the few urban conflicts that's not an issue in Flint. But I thought his ideas still apply to the emotional attachment Flintoids, both past and present, have for their city. He writes:
I grew up in West Baltimore at the height of the Crack Age. I spent more time negotiating violence than I did negotiating my studies. I got jumped by some project kids when I was nine, and until I my senior year I either got jumped or fought every year. But I loved West Baltimore -- so much so that when I went off to college, I was intent on coming back. My old middle school was shut down a couple of years ago, after a student was stabbed to death. The school likely needed to be shut down -- but I was still sad. The point isn't that violence is a good thing. It simply means that every day, normal human beings develop feelings for people and places that go beyond the work of economists, sociologists and self-styled reformers.
He started the topic with Our Technocratic Overlords, then continued with Our Technocratic Overlords, Cont, A Hard Look At Gentrification, A Hard Look At Gentrification Cont. and A Harder Look At Gentrification Cont. They're all worth reading, as are the reader comments.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    You're right, fascinating stuff. Issues of community and attachment to community that few think of anymore, especially here in NY where everything seems to revolve around 'development'. Thanks for the links.



Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at