Blog: Resources inwards, not outwards

A few months ago, I went to a talk about gentrification and how this was taking away from the black communities, mainly in London. There is also a comparative version of this in parts of New York too. This is something I had suffered personally, as a younger naive adult, where I thought people who were moving into these areas wanted to live amongst black people not just to live there as a social status.

The potential solution to the problem I have is not so much the gentrified it’s more black people banding together and creating a local cooperative to build businesses and to purchase buildings for community use. The problem this would solve would be the businesses which gentrification brings with it such as higher rents, higher property prices and shops with food and products, which are pricing out the local people, my focus being on black people.

The (one of a few) benefits of having the middle classes moving into areas, such as this, is it may create more business in black shops for a small period of time. A concern is that over a longer period of time the novelty would wear off and they would revert to type. So should we create businesses, which allows for black people to shop affordable on the area and own some buildings to avoid us being priced and pushed out. This can create social and economic cohesion between us as a people.

Those black people who settled in the area tend to as adults have social structures and activities established. The concern is the younger generation do not have these opportunities as their parents. There are few activities to empower young people and so the crime is driven up and young black people are driven to crime as there are a lack of activities or finances.

There should be initiatives only for black people, which looks at encouraging young black youth to make and sell items. Possibly a market stall in the morning, on the weekends and specific days in the holidays, with after school clubs and parents encouraging the children to use their creative minds to make something (art or craft) or even fix things (electrical or analogue). There should defiantly education classes and sports and activities clubs to teach fitness and mental endurance.

This would then prepare us better against the effects of gentrification. A lot of attention is put on adults as the parents believe black children are taken care of in the education system , but they too are affected by gentrification.

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