BCULT Community Group

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Christi, Valerie, and Faith's Community Keyword Project

Why is Gentrification on this Wiki

Gentrification is something that has changed with time. It essentially according to Websters is a class of people that come in and take over (by buying property) another classes domain. Recent research suggests that it really isn't that simple though. Gentrifcation is altering the face of communities not only visually, but also anthropologically. Now you may be asking how does it change visually? Is it the newly built condos or bistros that are popping up around the corner. Those are visual common occurences, but it is also changing the actual faces of dimension within a community. If white or African American individuals move into a predominately lower class neighborhood lifting rents and shifting that degree of lower class elsewhere then the visual emphasis within that community is going to be altered. Gentrifcation can be seen as a negative (the gentry, which implies higher class and gentlemen-implies white higher class English) or it can be turned into "urban renovations" or "urban renewal," which would imply a conglomerate of different races coexisting for the common good. Peter Marcuse describes four different changing enviroments of the domain (which is a term I am using and he didn't): traditional ghetto, new ghetto, enclave, and citadel. You most likely have a good idea of the representations of ghettos, except that new ghetto can also be a domain of race and class. An enclave is something that personally I had never heard about and this can be a community self defined by "ethnicity, religion, sexuality and congregate as a way of enhancing their economic, social, political, and cultural development" (Marcuse, 1997). A citadel is a concentrated area in which members of a particular group, defined by its position of superiority in class, power, wealth, or status in relation to their neighbors, live as a means of protecting or enhancing that position (Marcuse, 1997). So now these communities are changing through or by gentrification but are not totally being recognized as such. We have sexual or racial communities coming together because they ahve a common bond and possibly changing the social landscape of their said community. This is a interesting concept and one that I think we will somewhat see a shift in definitions in time between both gentrification and community. No longer do we have the gentry moving it but possibly those within a culture. This is altering the demographics and visual images created by the shift. It maybe easier to identify with the condo uprise, but in actuality we must also look at the actual faces living within them, the cars they drive and the foods they eat.

Gentrification within a Community

Gentrification is defined (in Dictionary.com) as the "buying and renovation of houses and stores in deteriorated urban neighborhoods by upper- or middle-income families or individuals, thus improving property values but often displacing low-income families and small businesses." So my question is within a community gentrification is not always purposeful. It could be the average person realizing that they have financial limits, choosing to find a home that has “old” characteristics, and improving them. Isn't this similar to the when a house gets on a historic registry for its renovations or neighborhoods are wanting to be considered a'historic neighborhood' to help their house values, but also protect them from some urban development. Why is it that 10-15 years ago we looked at gentrification as a negative and now we see it coined with the phrase 'urban renewal'.....are they really that different? Isn't the first step to change becoming invested in something. If we are invested in our communities and wanting them to improve is it not important that we look towards decreasing the homeless and helping to open up civic dialogue. Please do not take this post as saying it is okay to displace low-income individuals, because a facet that I love about urban dwelling is that we are a conglomerate of variety. I feel that the renewal that is happening is taking place because we are invested within a domain. Along with this we must also be civically minded and understand that along with this variety we also have a obligation to help create another suitable environment for those not as fortunate. --Faith 18:30, 22 October 2008 (EDT)



"A wave of downtowners who once embodied the "Rent" life style ... has been transformed into an upwardly mobile, entrepreneurial crowd. They can be described as the Wallpaper Generation, after the 2-year-old design and life-style magazine that has given an ultra-hip spin to the retro future look of the postwar decades." --The New York Times, Style section, Sept. 6, 1998 This quote was written in reference to a online article about absorbing generations within a city and also puts into perspective that possibly gentrys have never really left the city, but found new homes.


=I was driving by a local elementary school the other day and on their billboard sign it read "Community Cultural Potluck." Valerie

Here is a website dedicated to just giving blogs of gentrification: [2]

Spoken Word on Gentrification

This is a section of spoken word as written by Marsha Music (which I'm not sure is her real name or online name). The full text can be found at [3].

Spoken Word Ode to John R. - The Red-Headed Girl

These years however, time has brought on change, and there are now suburbanites who are less afraid of the Black center city than their parent’s day, who are tired of commuting from such long, long ways and are glad to renovate an old, majestic place.

Some of the blocks I pass are scarred and maimed, one house gone for each three that remain, ‘hoods barely left standing since crack had its way. The blocks look bombed, blown asunder in war;

Yes, battles were lost against jobs that have gone and the drug trade that came and made itself at home. But some houses have lawns and new bright paint, owners still try to “make a way from no way”.

The Blessed Sacrament is one of the first things I pass, a magnificent cathedral where the Pope held Mass, and where at night crack hoes rest at the stairs flagging down the tricks who are diving pass.

Those blocks pass and there are hip new lofts, a Potemkin urban village with a gentrified gloss, the quasi-quaint homes of the artsy classes, surviving next to the impoverished masses.

John R makes a curve past Northern High, where I long ago marched, my fists held high, as I raised my voice up into the Sixties sky. I see school kids from blocks harder hit than mine;

Unlike middle class black kids from down the way, they’re not chauffeured by folks on their SUV’d way, but some maneuver the streets un-chaperoned, bold and boisterous, to hide the fear being alone.


Media on Gentrification

The importance of this section is that it is discussing the racial line that has been created within the gentrification process and that class is a key element within it. It is also putting into reference the relevance of both and the controversy of even discussing it. Are we all suppose to sit back if we are white middle class and not make change by not understanding the history around gentrification in the first place. There are reasons why certain groups are living within certain boundries and history has provided us a glimpse of where they have evolved from.

Here are snippets of transcript with James Howard Kunstler on Gentrification as presented on Global Public Media. He brings up some surprising points and historical aspects of city living. If you would like to see this in full text [4] When asked what the deal is with gentrification Kunstler replied: "It’s a very complicated issue. I think we could start by making the point, maybe, that it was never the norm in city life for cities to be inhabited mostly by poor people. That’s a distortion and a perversity that has only occurred because of what we did in America, because all of the people who were doing well had the option of living in a cartoon version of the country, which is what suburbia was. The cities were left by default to everybody else which were the people who weren’t doing well in one way or another. So, we have to begin by observing that it’s an abnormality in the first place that our cities are inhabited by so many poor people at the center. If you go to other cities in other lands, what you discover is for the most part the cities at their centers are inhabited by the people who are doing OK and the poorer people live in the periphery."

More Snippets of the interview with James Howard Kunstler on Gentrification and Race

Slide Show and Article on Gentrification

Here is a slide show on gentrification within a Portland Or community [5]

Within this article it discusses the issue fo race and how race is a evolving characteristic within a community, yet to truly understand communities living within a racially prominent area we must first understand why. [6]

Here is a section from the article that because it gives a history I am choosing to add to the dialogue.

"“That’s been our history,” Norma Trimble, who is Native American, said during the question-and-answer session this month. “They take all you’ve got. They take your land. Now they want your stories.” Oregon has always had a complicated relationship with race. When Oregon became a state in 1859, its Constitution specifically prevented blacks from becoming residents, a law that remained on the books for more than 60 years.Today, Oregon is just 2 percent black, and Portland is about 7 percent black. On May 18, an estimated 75,000 people turned out to hear Senator Barack Obama at a rally, and most were white. For some, that was evidence that Portland’s liberal mind-set transcends race. For others, it just meant Portland prefers its diversity in fresh packaging. Portland’s black population grew significantly during World War II, when blacks surged in to work the shipyards. At the time, real estate restrictions largely confined black families to a neighborhood called Vanport. But when the Columbia River flooded 60 years ago, the residents of Vanport were dispersed, and many blacks moved to the city’s Northeast neighborhood. Freeway construction later leveled other black areas. A new hospital took out still more. Now, in the name of economic development, Portland has been improving streets, sidewalks and transportation and offered grants and loans in minority neighborhoods. While the improvements are welcome, many blacks said in interviews that they do not seem designed for them, but more to raise housing prices and lure in newcomers. Blacks who have lived in the Northeast most of their lives say they no longer recognize their old neighborhood, much less feel comfortable there."

Once a society creates a community enclave how can it later divide it?

tracks and community

What does it mean to belong to the wrong side of the tracks? Is it possible to really move from one side to another? Are we propagating within our community to evolve and cultivate our existence? Here is a YouTube video that raps about the significance of living on the wrong side [7]. Please notice more then just the words, but the visuals the video is representing.

Rural Gentrification

The investment in our communities is definitely an important factor in relationship to civic enagement and social change. There are many forms of gentrification that make it difficult to engage. Rural gentrification as a domain is lacking in variety as opposed to urban. What happens to community in this case? Historically the frontier or wide open spaces of rural communities draws middle class families (mostly white) to "safer" or "slower paced" areas that are more affordable then what is available in urban communities. What does this mean for the populations of these areas? This might be where the displacement of individuals, who are already dealing with oppression, is worsened? What happens to the rural frontier when more of an urban lanscape replaces the old? The lack of diversity in these areas leaves little room and economic opportunities for others, so what happens to the minorities? This sight has some interesting links and information. [rural gentrification]

--Tattoo Mama 02:14, 28 October 2008 (EDT)

This picture has been noted as the "Madonna of the Slums" http://faculty.pittstate.edu/~knichols/riismadonna.jpg

In contrast to Gentrification

I came across an organization online called the Community Development Society[8]. As something of a counter to the evils of gentrification, this group's operating principles suggest a more progressive approach to community development. One of the principles that I found most impressive was:

Incorporate the diverse interests and cultures :of the community in the community development :process; and disengage from support of any :effort that is likely to adversely affect the :disadvantaged members of a community.

--Tapratt849 20:58, 2 November 2008 (EST)

Joy's Keyword Page on Community

Queer Community/Communities

I've been thinking about the ways in which the essays within Keywords for America Cultural Studies on the keywords "Community," by Miranda Joseph, and "Queer," by Siobhan B. Somerville, interact with each other and can be informative in regard to the phrase "the queer community." I am specifically interested in the idea that queer is used as a "critique of the tendency to organize political or theoretical questions around sexual orientation per se" (Somerville 187). In light of the fact that the word queer has "itself refused to leave a clear trace of its own origins" and has undergone relatively recent shifts in meaning both in terms of how and by whom it is used as well as in the context of Queer Theory, Somerville analyzes these shifts and concludes that "whatever the future uses and contradictions of "queer," it seems likely that the word will productively refuse to settle down, demanding critical reflection in order to be understood in its varied and specific cultural, political and historical contexts" (Somerville 191).--Jmactavish 19:05, 30 October 2008 (EDT)

OED Definitions of "queer"

OED Definitions of "Community"

Queer Community in Seattle


As listed above under changing views of domain and community, Peter Marcuse mentions the intentional change to live with individuals that share a common thread. Here is a website dedicated for the Queer Community.[9]

Queer Youth

The Seattle Young People's Project is a youth-led, adult supported organization that empowers youth to express themselves and to take action on the issues that affect their lives. They have a section in support for Queer Youth Rights (QRY). [10]

"Camp Ten Trees is an overnight summer camp located in Washington State. Camp Ten Trees features one week for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth, and one week for the children of LGBTQ families. At Camp Ten Trees, children and youth build self-confidence and strength in diversity in an environment which challenges homophobia and provides a range of traditional camp activities." [11]

The Lambert House is a safe place for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning youth to hang out. In their mission statement they discuss helping to build leadership, social and life skills. [12]

History of being Queer in Washington State

I found this historical article fascinating. [13] I think popular culture gives impressions that being queer is something new instead that it has a history. The below section is one that I have never found in my history books, but it should be there.

"In 1853, King County was named after William Rufus De Vane King (1786-1853), a popular Alabama politician who briefly served as vice president under Franklin Pierce. King was widely rumored to be lovers with his "inseparable companion" James Buchanan. Known as "Miss Nancy" at the White House, King became the eponym of the county that would become the locus of gay and lesbian life in the Pacific Northwest (NWLGHMP, Mosaic)."

City Commission

Here is a city commission set up to help represent sexual minorities within a community. [14]


Other types of identity-based communities

  • Black Community
  • Homeless Community
  • religious Communities

Multi-Cultural Communities

The Multicultural And Multiracial Community Council of Farmington and Farmington Hills, MI

Mission Statement: The Multicultural/Multiracial (MCMR) Community Council of Farmington/Farmington Hills works to assure that all residents of our communities enjoy an harmonious, healthy environment and that they feel welcome and comfortable in their cities, schools, and neighborhoods. The Multicultural/Multiracial Council is dedicated to promoting community awareness and acceptance of diversity among its citizens.[15]

When I come across organizations like this I often wonder about the obstacles they have come across. --Faith 20:18, 29 October 2008 (EDT)

In this diagram, I just do not think it is that equal ever. http://www.marininstitute.org/images/community_wheel.gif

For more information [16]

In the November 10th entry of The Everett Herald comic strip "Secret Asian Man" (I tred to find a clip)the female character states, "I've been accepted to the city's diversity board." Male character states, "Congrat's What does it mean exactly?" She states, "We'll be discussing ways to increase diversity in our schools." His come back was "You should start with the diversity board." In the picture it shows mainly white people that look the exact the same. I intially laughed at this comic...but it has also raised my awareness that those in power are coming from a one sided perspective. It also is making me wonder how I can help make change without inducing power instead of empowering those I want to help.

Global Community

In Freedom Dreams Kelley argues that the only hope for achieving a revolution in America is by connecting with other countries in one "global revolution" due to that fact that we are all connected both by economy and by economic oppression. This got me thinking about the idea of a "global community". People often have trouble with this concept because they view community as place based, however the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of community defines it as "a body of people living in the same place under the same laws; also: a natural population of plants and animal that interact ecologically and live in one place." Sounds like what we've got going on the planet Earth to me! I did a google search of "global community" and I came up with The Foundation for Global Community: globalcommunity.org--Myrella 00:07, 27 October 2008 (EDT)

Obama on Community

Barack Obama describes Reverend Wright as a man who "led a church that serves the community by doing God's work here on Earth - by housing the homeless, ministering to the needy, providing day care services and scholarships and prison ministries, and reaching out to those suffering from HIV/AIDS."

  • about that church Obama says "Trinity embodies the black community in its entirety
  • on the persistent impact of race in America "That history helps explain the wealth and income gap between black and white, and the :concentrated pockets of poverty that persists in so many of today's urban and rural communities"
  • contrasting the anger of the "black community" as embodied in the remarks of Rev. Wright "a similar anger exists within segments of the white community"

(Remarks of Senator Barack Obama: 'A More Perfect Union' Philadelphia, PA | March 18, 2008)--Tapratt849 00:37, 2 November 2008 (EDT)


This was a recent Word of the Day: "Conurbation" (kon-ur-BAY-shun) - from the Latin for "city" - is an aggregation or continuous network of urban communities.

Example (as used by Russell Baker in The New York Times): "To live there in that great smoking conurbation rumbling with the constant thunder of locomotives, filled with the moaning of train whistles coming down the Potomac Valley, was beyond my most fevered hopes." --Jeremyrh 19:25, 10 November 2008 (EST)

Tyler's Keyword Project

Neighborhoods as Communities

The Ballard Blog[17] calls itself "Your community’s blog for Ballard news."

Capitol Hill also has its own blog[18]

Columbia City has several[19][20][[21]]

Within my neighborhood/community, if my neighborhood is indeed a community, there exists a relatively large homeless population. I am wondering what impact shelter, or a lack thereof, has on the sense of belonging to a community. This seems like an interesting site to explore the limitations of place vs. identity based communities where the two overlap.

Community by the Cup

Check out the number of times some variation of the word community is used in each paragraph. It is as though Starbucks thinks Community is like Candyman- if you say it enough it will magically appearwww.starbucks.com/sharedplanet/wisp-community-involvement.aspx