Gentrification

Update 1.0 - Educator Resources

Gentrification is a complex process that impacts low or middle class communities in many ways from economic to demographic change. The influx of new development attracts higher-income residents and typically displaces original community members out of their neighborhoods. Social and economic barriers often impede long standing residents from attaining real estate in their own community. To better understand gentrification and the negative impacts on historical communities of color, we must first address the segregation in America. Second, acknowledged that racial discrimnitaion in the 1930’s shaped the demographics and patterns of wealth  in American communities today. The year 1865 marked the end of the Civil War, the signage of the Emancipation Proclamation, the change in black labor, and the start of discriminatory practices such as, Black Codes . As stateted by The History, “Black Codes were restrictive laws designed to limit the freedom of African Americans and ensure their availability as a cheap labor force after slavery was abolished during the Civil War. Under black codes, many states required blacks to sign yearly labor contracts; if they refused, they risked being arrested, fined and forced into unpaid labor. ” https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/black-codes In Texas, Black Codes continued until 1867 when General Joseph B. Kiddoo declared the codes biased against freedmen and stopped its enforcement. Discriminatory practices picked up in the 1930’s by the Federal Housing Administration, which refused mortgages to African Americans and only mass-produced homes for whites. This process was done by government surveyors  that color coded neighborhoods by most and least desirable, the least desirable were color coded in red largely due to the neighborhoods racial or ethnicla demographic. The book, “The Color Law” highlights and explain the racist policies to maintain the separation of whites and blacks in American Cities even after the Civil War and into Reconstruction. (A direct link provided in the Gentrification Resources)

Classroom Resources

Gentrification PDF Version

Flooding Presentation

As a teacher you can empower students and uplift communities that have been systematically marginalized for generations by teaching them to invest in their communities  and make responsible educational and  financial decisions. For our gentrification activity we took on inspiration from  “A Right to the City” by the Smithsonian Museum, which explores the history of neighborhood change and civic engagement in the nation’s capital by looking at the dynamic histories of six Washington, D.C., neighborhoods.This year we will launch “A Right To HOUSTON” tackling and capturing our chance and challenges to build a home inside our gentrifying neighborhoods. Neighborhoods of interest: THIRD WARD, Fifth Ward, Freedman's Town 

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