The Harlem gentrification: From black to white

The Harlem gentrification: From black to white
  • PublishedJune 25, 2014

And the newcomers do not come quietly into the neighbourhood. They announce their arrival loudly, usually via the media. Fascinated by these white gentrifiers’ journey into Harlem, American newspapers regularly commission first person articles from them about their life among the locals. Jordan Teicher’s “Confessions of a Harlem Gentrifier”, published in Salon magazine, is one typical example:

“I have been in Harlem for just over six months…with no historical ties here…I’m an outsider,” writes Teicher, as if he were Christopher Columbus sending a dispatch from a distant, and hitherto undiscovered land.

Next, Teicher tackles the chief question a white gentrifier in a black neighbourhood wants answered. Is it safe? “I’ve been met with nothing less than kindness here,” he offers. “I have felt safe walking the streets at night.”

Only once did the writer confess to feeling unwelcome in Harlem. That occurred, he explains, when a black woman called him a “white devil” and violently shook her umbrella at him. “I suspect that woman was simply crazy…rather than a representative of the neighbourhood,” says Jordan Teicher, careful not to discourage gentrification. The gentrifiers write books, too, about the challenges they face “civilising” their new neighbourhoods and the locals there. 

“So why does it take this great influx of white people to get the schools better?” Lee asked the mostly white audience at the Black History Month event in Brooklyn.

Take, for example, the ridiculously offensive book Home Girl: A Dream House on a Lawless Block by Judith Matloff, a one-time foreign correspondent in Africa and in Russia who buys a house in Harlem in what, she claims, is “one of the biggest drug zones in the country”. Matloff claims, in her memoir, that she and her family won over “brazen drug dealers”, “eccentric neighbours” and learned, in time, to “appreciate” Harlem’s “rough charms”.

It is such views, that have made black New Yorkers mad as hell and determined not to take it any more. In Fort Greene, Brooklyn, another black New York neighbourhood being bleached white by gentrifiers, black people there, like Spike Lee, director of the films Malcolm X and Do The Right Thing, have decided to fight back.

Speaking at a lecture for Black History Month in February, Lee, fed up at how the Fort Greene neighbourhood where he grew up in the 1970s had been altered by gentrification, said white newcomers had the “Christopher Columbus syndrome”, which led them to sail in, plant their flag here and there, and claim to have discovered what had been there all along.

“So why does it take this great influx of white people to get the schools better?” Lee asked the mostly white audience at the Black History Month event in Brooklyn.

“Why’s the garbage getting picked up more regularly now?” Lee asked. “We’ve been here!” Why, he wanted to know, did it take the arrival of whites in black neighbourhoods for the police to do their job and police the community. Spike Lee had nothing but good questions, pointing up disparity and discrimination. “Why does it take an influx of white New Yorkers in the South Bronx, in Harlem, in Bed-Stuy, in Crown Heights for the facilities to get better?” Lee asked.

But everyone knows why. Because as Una Clarke, the Jamaican- born former New York City Councilperson, said (when asked why there had been improvements in the working class Crown Heights district she represented in the city council): “The whites are coming. The whites are coming.” Clarke is playfully echoing the famous call to arms in the American Revolutionary War, “The British are coming.”

The arrival of newcomers, says Clarke, sitting in her office in Crown Heights, a neighbourhood known for its large West Indian populations, has its good side and its bad side.

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56 Commentaires


  • potato

  • Harlem WAS white, it was mostly a summer retreat, then nice homes and brownstones but negroes and hispanics took over forcing white folks further north and west. Blacks are now sore that whites are tired of commuting and reclaiming urban space AND making it more livable

    • ohh u want to play the going back far enough game?! ok…well what was it before it was white?…native american. The facts are that blacks and hispanics have been there for almost 100 years now and are the people DIRECTLY affected by displacement. You know living breathing people.

      • What people do nothing but lie. Do not trust their asses at all and what ever you do do not let them in your homes. To hell with these crackers because all of them secretly want to have plantation sex with black people with their nasty, racist, perverted white supremacist selves!!!! Notice that that person never says anything about the culture of Harlem, where it came from and how the world benefited from it. If it wasn’t for the west African five beat white people would still be listening to polkas and waltzes!!!

        • Only 1% of Whites owned slaves, the other 99% didn’t want or need you here. Too bad the super-rich White assholes had to bring your ass here and then turn you loose into society for you to rape, rob, and destroy. Fuck Harlem, it was a racist shithole full of racist shithead Blacks. Go find another town to ruin, that’s what you people do best.

          • super rich assholes…you know..I understand you frustration. If my family had 500 years of free labor and a full head start and I was still a mid level employee, living next to those I use control and beat..I would be mad too! If I lived in a world my fathers STOLE and then created the laws to benefit me..and I am STILL minimally educated and struggling economically…I would consider myslef a failure too. Just get your facts correct. EVERY WHITE MALE was given 50 acres, free equipment and labor courtesy of England. On the Eve of the CIVIL WARS each salve owning white male was sent $500. Sooooo..place YOUR blame where it belongs, your genetics, discipline and upbringing. Simply put..your family was not able to even sustain the wealth you did not earn. And now you are left to support yourself. And still with the social and justice system on your side, you know you can’t make it. So I say… GOOD LUCK!

          • And you know me right? I’m making it just fine. Most Americans always DID support ourselves…you must not understand what 1% means. Can you say that the majority of Blacks support themselves?
            And you idiots always talk about us “stealing” America. As if your African ancestors never did any such things right?. Your people were enslaving and killing each other long before the Europeans came. You clearly have zero idea of what you’re talking about. Every other race on this Earth knows that Blacks are are problems anywhere they gather in numbers. They can’t integrate into society and act right, they act like animals. More and more people are waking up to this and throwing Political Correctness out the window and calling things the way they are.

            By the way, nobody gave my family anything, no free land, no money. You’re delusional, and you have the nerve to say those things when Blacks like off the taxpayers generation after generation. They’re the ones who can’t make it in America or anywhere else for that mater.

          • LOL, blacks think they offered “free labor”. Hell, all they ever did was pick cotton for a tiny minority of people. It was the blacks in Africa who sold off black slaves to the west, and in some cases, black plantation owners, owned other blacks. Now, look at them… All they can do is suck down the welfare benefits and smoke dope all day.

          • True. It’s a fact that only 10% of American Negroes actually accomplish anything in this country and the majority of those are mixed with White. God didn’t give the Negro the same mental and social tools he gave other races, therefore they lash out at everything around them in anger and frustration. The average Negro is hard-wired to rape, rob, assault, and murder. He’s a third-world animal among civilized people and I wish they would stop breeding as fast as they kill one another because maybe then they would die off already and America would be all the better for it.

          • Nothing about this ridiculous ass statement is remotely true. If the African is as bad as you say he is then every “white” person on this planet would be dead. There wouldn’t be a speck of you left. What is becoming obviously clear is that, you’re the monsters. A malignantcy, an indelible scourge upon this Earth and if left unencumbered will be the destruction of it.

          • @ Ed Lover – your knowledge of history reaks of public school minimal education. Good luck with that..PWT

          • Says the guy who misspells “reeks”. My knowledge of African history and of the Slave Trade came from reading material from African scholars, most of them readily admit the truth and even they believe that the American Negro is a waste of space and air. If you did more reading of legitimate literature instead of reading anti-White pro-Black nonsense maybe you’d come across as semi-intelligent. Unfortunately you sound like you flunked out of 5th grade. Don’t insult another man’s intellect when you yourself have no grasp on basic spelling, thanks.

          • You are right about that political correctness stuff. The leftists and negros are always thinking everything is racist so much that all whites are becoming racists against blacks. Now the leftists are saying that mathematics is racist so they can eliminate it because negros cannot do math. I read a few articles about it by doing a google search mathematics is oppressive and racist. I kid you not! You gotta read this: https://www.google.com/amp/reason.com/blog/2017/05/16/new-social-justice-math-class-teaches-ki/amp

          • Don’t even mention genetics because I could list all of the facts and reasons why negros are inferior to not just whites, but of ALL races! I do not feel like listing all of them, so if you want to see a list of all the genetically inherited beastly traits, just read this:https://www.amren.com/news/2008/08/race_and_psycho/

        • What people do nothing but lie? The people in the White House.

        • How in the hell do you figure the world benefited from Harlem? That’s stupid! Also, there are no self respecting whites that want to have any sort of sex with a negro. Just the thought of that really makes me cringe with disgust. I would liken that to beastiality. Also, according to department of justice stats, there was NEVER A CASE OF A WHITE MAN RAPING A FEMALE NEGRO BEAST, but there is plenty of black males raping white women.

      • Boo hoo! Isn’t that what you guys say when it’s changing demographics and voting? Boo hoo? Isn’t that it?

  • Wait a minute here. I thought diversity was our strength? Blacks love it when it helps them get into college or a job. Racial quotas are great then. Well it can’t work one way. Or is diversity just for predominantly white areas?

    • The issue isn’t diversity, it’s gentrification. There is totally nothing wrong with integration or having a diverse community. The problem comes when the so called “integration” or in other words gentrification drives out the locals due to high living expenses thus inevitably displacing them from their community. Again, nothing wrong with whites coming into Harlem, it’s a problem when their arrival increases economic expenses for the black locals thus driving them out.

      • Integration is a failed social experiment. Whites come around to steal and blacks just willingly give up everything. Blacks only get one percent of the revenue from the music business that they have greatly contributed to. Blacks when they arrived to America cooked the white man a soup called “gombo” (which is African for “okra”) and all of sudden Gumbo became associated with Cajun culture. Jazz. Well they copied that also and claimed it as theirs. I have seen Kenny G at the Essence Music Festival. Black people need to realize that these crackers will always give you a line of song and dance. Why did it only take the Native Americans 10 years to figure out the white man but it has taken black people over 300 years to figure out the white man? The native Americans was smart. They understood the white man. They told the white government “since we are a weak and defeated people we want you to compensate us for all that you have done and on top of that we want to be considered as being ‘a nation within a nation’. We don’t want to become a part of you. We want our own territory and we want you to give us compensation.” And that is why 500 native Americans are present every year at the White House to get that 3.4 billion dollar check and to open those casinos. There are now more casinos owned by native Americans than there are reservations but black folks still don’t get it. Your white neighbor that come over now and then does not love you like you think they do. In fact they are in your home gathering information on you. Trust me, I had a white friend who was a manager at our job and then they started scrutinizing our friendship (which all we did was talk and we did not even work the same shifts) and when it came to them putting the heat on her or throwing everything in my lap, she chose to turn on me. But stupid black folks only asked for equality after slavery which you can’t measure anyway and the chance to live amongst whites who don’t want us around them anyway.. I guess you all blacks will finally get it when these white bastards start harvesting your own melanin from your dead skin in an effort to look younger and promote more collagen.

        • Stop whining you low-seeded shine. Your people are the retarded children of the world, you don’t have the mental or social skills to make it anywhere you infest so you hate Whites and everyone else. If you all were in your natural habitat of mud huts and had no weapons but spears, you’d do just fine. But in the civilized world you’re like fish out of water. Animals and savages. No wonder the world thinks you’re useless wastes of space and life.

          • were you born stupid, or did you mother dropped you on your head when you was an infant?

            your stupidity is utterly embarrassing to the White Race! please sterilize yourself and do not breed any offspring? we cannot pollute the White gene pool with your stupidity!

      • Why isn’t it an issue when low-crime predominantly White neighborhoods are gentrified and overrun by Blacks? Nobody cares when that’s the case. But we all have to pooh-pooh the po’ Black folks because the White Devils are moving in and not afraid of them anymore? You’re mad.

      • Not one black landlord is crying the blues its only those who rent. Blacks had plenty of chances to buy homes, better themselves and just overall do good. Shouldn’t they also feel proud that their neighborhood because it is now desired and maybe feel better about themselves. And, if they have to move so be it. I can’t pay my mortgage then im out too. Nothing is for sure.

      • Changing demographics. Get with it. Gotta suck it up. Ain’t that what you guys say when it’s voting in elections?

  • What happened to all the Dominicans flags aka Trinitarios gang during the crack epidemic they were loaded with cash I see clearly now they are poor boys.

  • First time I was ever in NYC I got lost and ended up near 125th and St. Nicholas. I got out of the car to go into a store and ask for directions and an old Black woman told me I’d better be out of Harlem before nightfall or I’d probably get shot for being White. That’s the element that was and still is there, racist Blacks with a burning hatred for Whites. There’s “culture” and “history” there also, but only if you’re Black. No Blacks are mad that one of their racist strongholds is being destroyed. Tough shit. Us Whites have had numerous neighborhoods utterly destroyed by Blacks. Places that were predominantly White and low-crime have turned into places where Whites can’t even go without fear of being killed for their skin color. But nobody cares what we think about it so I don’t give a shit about Harlem either.

    • you stole your name from a black man you idiot. stop with the racism.

      • Yeah yeah, everything is racism to you people. Find a new insult because that one is played out. The fact is that the truth hurts and Blacks are far more racist in America than Whites right now, Black on White crime is WILDLY out of proportion with White on Black crime, and most Blacks are openly racist nowadays and don’t care who knows it. Logic, common sense, those two things are gone now in our society because we go to such great lengths to placate the professionally offended and the crybaby minorities…it’s sad. I guess America is destined to share the fates of Germany and Sweden, two countries destroyed by a culture not compatible with their own White Christian Democracies.

        • you generalize black people and think that America’s problems stem from “those ignorant negroes” when you’re just commenting on what’s being fed to you and you choose to ignore the fact the MOST black people live just like everyone else and want the same things as everyone else. When You start generalizing and saying “you people” proves YOUR ignorance and thats dangerous and scary.

        • all you care about is numbers and you ramble off a bunch of statistics to make yourself look smart but you don’t care to see the whole truth.

        • Your way of thinking is so primitive and ignorant and LAZY look around you go outside and talk to some people instead of being an internet bully racist. You’d be surprised at how much we all have in common..

          • I grew up in the ghetto, around Blacks. So I know what I’m talking about. You leftist scum are destroying Europe and you want to destroy America next. Sweden is now the Rape Capital of Europe because of people who think like you do. In London, Brits are in the minority now because of people like you. Why don’t you do this, smart guy; go on YouTube and or WorldStar and see the overwhelming amount of Black on White HATE and VIOLENCE that’s documented there. And then look for White on Black violence. Guess what? You wont find that because it just doesn’t happen.
            And Obama’s last FU to us all is a Bill that’s going to bring the ghetto into low-crime suburban areas. They’re going to force criminals into White, rich areas in order to “diversify” them. Funny, why doesn’t anyone ever say that the all-Black areas need diversity?

          • You suffer from confirmation bias and refuse to see the truth because race has become your religion. Its the only thing you have to make you feel better about yourself. Go on you tube and worldstar??? Thats your argument? Then say people Like me as if you know people like me. The next time you see a story about a white person committing a crime i want you to check your emotions to see how you feel about it. If youre not as outraged about white crime as you are about black crime then you have no argument. Stay off worldstar lmao.

          • There’s no point in arguing with someone who operates on emotion and is so far distanced from reality. I’m a product of Black racism and there are plenty more like me, White people who are tired of being held responsible for the Black criminality and Black on White violence that is so out of proportion. Keep living in your sick world where White Racism is responsible for all the problems in the Black Community. I choose to acknowledge reality and not be afraid of speaking the truth.

          • You’re insane.

          • Good luck in your plight brother.

  • Garbage pick-up schedules never changed in regards to those claiming that the streets are much cleaner because whites are moving in. Every poor socioeconomic area is treated poorly and i’m not sure why poverty equates to filth, it doesn’t have to be that way. Now, the whites came in, own (not rent) their home and will take care of their house and neighborhood. Cleanup schedule never changed and its the people who make the difference.

  • […] The Harlem gentrification: From black to white […]

  • Hahaha! The same whining whiners whining about this are gleeful about the changing demographics of the nation (because of illegal immigration and the changes of Kennedy’s immigration act). Sucks when the chickens come home, don’t it?

  • When blacks moved into Harlem whites left no one told them to be racists and leave , the blacks did not know whites where going to leave our intention was to leave the south where whites were making it hell on earth to survive – to come north and find work so that folks didn’t have to end up in prison labeled a criminal snd warning as a slave for whites ( the state) yet again ( while being locked up) if whites would have stayed it would as it is now living side by side with us. Blacks who leave now are being forced out by money manipulations based on the money system of whites in all its various capacities, and whites along with raising prices have the money ( it’s their system after all to be honest ). To pay what e er is needed. So blacks are being kicked / manuvevered out, whites when Harlem was white left on their own. In a huff. BIG difference

  • When I lived in the village, I had black and white neighbors with rent stabilized apartments twice the size of mine, while I paid five times as much rent for a studio. When I lost my job after 911, they were still working, and visiting their second homes in the Hamptons on weekends. Now (after living in Harlem for five years), I am paying five times as much on rent as my neighbors, who have cars, no student loans, and the latest technology…while my skinny white ass cannot even get a full seat on the subway, afford to eat more than soup out of a can, or afford to buy a television or go to the movies. I face discrimination on a daily basis, and resentment from black people who I treat with the utmost respect, while they scream profanity at their five year olds, while I try to right their wrongs in Title I schools…who rarely hire me because I am white. REALLY!?!?!?!…

  • The comments about this article are disgusting. I’m not even sure why white supremacists read articles about black people if they rather degrade and bash them even further. Harlem is being gentrified and I’ve seen it. I’m seeing it every day. They build up a Starbucks or a high priced cafe and suddenly people come around like ogling spectators and once again (Like with Native Americans) we’re all supposed to move out and leave because privileged white men and women found something else they could steal.

    Harlem was always a safe zone for POC. I just don’t understand why with everything else they’re given, why white men and women feel the need to claim ownership to something as precious as culture. Not sure how this issue is going to be solved but I hope it does. It’s not like we’re about to run them out of their homes or anything. Wear white hoods, sit on top of horses and leave burning crosses in their yards. That would be animalistic. That would be barbaric….savage. Don’t you think?

  • The new “middle class”: at least approximately eighty-thousand a year salary but commonly trust-fund capital or millionaire..

  • If a thing isn’t building it must be decaying:
    Harlem people equal Harlem:
    Harlem on my mind since 1969:
    Black Cherokee PEACE:

  • Interlopers? Wow ok.
    Your premise for using that word please?

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