Gentrification is a jarring circumstance that’s been permeating major American cities, more particularly Black communities, for decades. The act of changing the character of a neighborhood via affluent residential and demographic shifts yields a different kind of culture shock, especially when one returns to so much change in their hometown after leaving. Cultural landmarks and people that once had a distinct presence are now starkly different than what memory communicates.
Washington, D.C. is no stranger to this continued erasure. The National Community Reinvestment Coalition revealed in its latest study that although the nation’s capital is ranked 13th on the list of “most intensely gentrified” cities from 2013 to 2017 (a drop from ranking first from 2000 to 2012), gentrification remains intense, as community organizations argue the rapid development D.C. has endured continues to push low-income residents out of their communities.