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.
Friday, July 22, 2011
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: