New to the Neighborhod

Recently came across this interesting piece on gentrification in DC by a white woman who moved to a neighborhood in NE Washington, DC called Rosedale:

The very origin of the word “gentrification” to describe the process by which an urban area is rendered middle class is not neutral. The eminent sociologist Ruth Glass is credited with coining it in 1964 to decry the changes in working-class London neighborhoods. Though the word has only been in circulation for a few decades, gentrification has become another of the litmus test issues that define who we are on the political and—in the eyes of some—moral spectrum.

The lines of conflict are readily apparent in the comments readers leave on blogs that cover Washington’s transitional neighborhoods. Some writers are angry that the neighborhood is changing at all; others are angry that it isn’t changing fast enough. Some want to control the change, ensuring that a curated mix of businesses is established—no chain stores, please, but nothing too “ghetto,” either. And some want to curate the people. Gentrification, though driven by economic change, often boils down to issues of race, even among diversity-celebrating gentrifiers.

As I prepared to write this piece, I was struck time and again by people’s willingness to talk to me, a gentrifier who had moved into their neighborhood and was, in essence, asking how they felt about it. Thelma Anderson, a retiree who has lived in the house a few doors down from me since the 1980s, told me she is glad that whites are back and that they don’t show fear. But several longtime residents I spoke with expressed ambivalence. They’re happy to see the neighborhood improving but unsure what their place will be in the H Street neighborhood of the future.

It is a little long, but definitely worth the read…

Other links to some good content on gentrification:

Confessions of a Black Gentrifier

The first chapter of There Goes the Hood, Lance Freeman’s book on gentrification

Lance Freeman talking about his book on NPR

New YWCA National Capital Area Video

From YWCA National Capital Area‘s Communications folks:

Last week the YWCA National Capital Area debuted a new organization video to help bring awareness to the necessary programs offered and the participants impacted. We have received great feedback and are asking for your help in spreading the word to your readers and followers. Please feel free to post or embed the following link of the video to your blogs, websites and/or social media networks.

The Race

Playwright/Performer – John Milosich

Director/Dramaturg – Regie Cabico

An autobiographical solo play incorporating original music, movement and film, The Race explores a white man’s awareness of race and racism. Portraying himself and a host of characters that are at once hilarious and infuriating, John confronts his own racism, calls into question his position of racial and social privilege, and challenges the apathy and prejudice that characterized his racist upbringing.

“Milosich is superb at acting with his body … candid and compelling as he describes his own fumbling struggles with race … he knows the white man’s experience of racism, and understands important things about the relationship between fathers and sons.” – DC Theatre Scene

“Milosich gave a heartfelt performance discussing his coming to terms with race in America.” – ShowBizRadio

“Highly recommended … deserves full houses for the entire run.” Critic’s Choice and Best Acting – All Arts Review 4 U

Through MAY 22, 2011
Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8pm
Sunday at 2pm



$10 general admission, $5 for seniors, students and Montgomery College faculty and staff
Call the box office at (240) 567-5775 or order online.


The Studio Theater in the Cultural Arts Center at Montgomery College
Silver Spring / Takoma Park Campus
7995 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910


Free behind the Cultural Arts Center or in the campus parking garage at the intersection of Georgia Avenue and King Street. Metro: Red line to Silver Spring.

For more information, email