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Gentrification in America

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Gentrification in America

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Invaders?

Gentrification is affecting the African American community in Harlem negatively because it is slowly wiping out black owned businesses. A lot believe it negatively changes the culture of neighborhoods. People might argue that it creates more jobs and brings in a more educated and wealthier population to the area being gentrified, which can improve the community in the long run. Gentrification is the enemy of the poor, and does little to aid those who are forced to move out. Those who support it are only interested in profits rather than improving communities. Gentrification forces middle and low-income residents out of Harlem, ruins their small businesses and changes life.

Harlem’s culture and population was mostly influenced by the Great Migration. The Great Migration was a massive movement of African Americans who migrated north in search of a better life. In the article The African American Great Migration reconsidered, Sarah Jane Mathaieu states that African Americans migrated north “as a politicized response to their region's social, economic, and political climate. Simultaneously domestic and international migrants, African Americans used relocation as a measure of their freedom, as an exercise of their civil rights” (19). African Americans wanted to escape racism and avoid being lynched in the south, the bee weevil attacked cotton crops so there was a large decline in agricultural work. The North promised higher wages, more industries, jobs, and variety. The north offered African Americans the opportunity they needed to make up for years of slavery. They wanted a new start, “during the great migration two million African Americans abandoned hope for a better life in the south and headed for points north” (Mathaieu 20). A large amount of these immigrants settled in Harlem and made it their new home. When African Americans settled in a cultural movement known as the Harlem Renaissance or the New Negro movement began....

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