Actress Susan Kelechi Watson On Brooklyn’s Gentrification

Susan Watson

Actress Susan Kelechi Watson had the following to say about the gentrification of Brooklyn in a recent New York Post interview:

“I don’t understand why there wasn’t the same investment in the community or the same investment in the prosperity of the community when the culture was majority Afro-Caribbean, Afro-American, when it was a majority of black culture. It becomes more opportune to invest when other cultures decide they want to live there. Or other cultures must live there because they are forced out of- let’s say, Manhattan. At the core level, that’s my problem with gentrification.

What I say is that there’s this culture and this vibe and this community in Brooklyn that’s so amazing and wonderful and it has influence on the world. That’s the part of Brooklyn that I love and I begin to miss. All these people who made Brooklyn, Brooklyn. When you’re from Brooklyn, you are the show, aren’t you?”

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Will Amazon’s NYC Headquarters Cause Even More Homelessness?

Amazon HQ2

Amazon recently announced that they will be opening its second headquarters in Long Island City, Queens.

Citing increasing homelessness in Seattle, the location of Amazon’s original headquarters, economists warn that the presence of Amazon’s headquarters in New York City can exacerbate New York City’s already troublesome homeless problem.

According to Business Insider, “A Zillow senior economist recently found that Amazon’s HQ2 could introduce 830 new homeless residents to New York City on an annual basis.”

Business Insider also opines that, “In neighborhoods that are already experiencing rising rents and crowded public transit, [the Amazon HQ2 opening] could give way to further issues of congestion and affordability.”

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Race, Money & Gentrification

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“There’s an obvious irony to the fact that even as race was key to the ‘white flight’ of the 1960s and ‘70s- both via redlining and the suburban covenant that excluded non-whites- it’s arguably just as central to the return of a new generation of white urban immigrants to neighborhoods that, in many cases, their own parents and grandparents abandoned. (‘My parents couldn’t believe I was moving to Brooklyn- they worked so hard to get out of there!’ is a common twenty-first century urban pioneer tale.) Viewed this way, both white flight and white return are two sides of the same coin. Those privileged by money and skin color getting to choose where to live- and who to live with- while those who are not so privileged have to take whatever’s left for them.” – From, “The Brooklyn Wars: The Stories Behind The Remaking Of New York’s Most Celebrated Borough” By: Neil DeMause

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