Nkem Ekpo 
Member since Oct 4, 2014


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Re: “Can Black-Owned Restaurants Combat Gentrification?

"It was incredibly hard to get past all the cloaked prejudice, and complete misunderstanding of the concept of gentrification."

There was no cloaked prejudice. There were blatant preferences and ideas stated - preferences and ideas you clearly don't agree with. That's your prerogative. But there are many in the city that agree with what these owners are saying and doing.

To your point about gentrification, in 1980 (the year that I was born in Oakland), the city was roughly 50% Black. That said, it is turning into a version of Brooklyn with mass gentrification and what spurred this was to lure techies from SF with more affordable housing. Well, who are those techies? It's very easy to discern from looking at their employment demographic numbers.

And no one in this article misunderstands the concept of gentrification. I think you misunderstand the REALITY of how that plays out and what it looks like. Typically, cities are not invested in improving communities of color, or improving areas that they don't think will see an influx of new residents. This is why you don't see a lot of growth happening in East and West Oakland proper. What you see is a revitalization of Downtown Oakland (complete with new BS names like "Uptown" - it's still Downtown Oakland).

Downtown, the Lake/Adams Point, and Temescal, especially, are turning into sets for "Girls" on HBO with the hipsters. The actual soul of these areas is being forsaken, and no one seems to care. What makes Oakland Oakland is dwindling. But as long as there's a Starbucks and new wine bar nearby, I guess no one is bothered...

13 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by Nkem Ekpo on 10/04/2014 at 9:51 AM

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