Introduction

In the year 2016, it is hard to escape the word “gentrification”. This topic has been a pressing theme covered by both popular culture and academia. Shows such as South Park and The Carmichael Show[1] have dedicated episodes to addressing the matter, while an entire podcast series “There Goes the Neighborhood” attempts to tell the stories of neighborhood change and resident displacement across America.[2] Things, not only places, are now being classified as “gentrified”; the popular children’s program Sesame Street, which recently moved to HBO, has been criticized and labeled with headlines such as “Gentrified Sesame Street is Here”[3] and “The gentrification of ‘Sesame Street’: Cashing out, once and for all, from the radical notion that the urban working class are people, too”.[4] Articles, both academic and editorial, have been written exploring the process of gentrification and its multifarious impacts and effects. Toussaint Wortham[5] and Suleiman Osman[6] are only a few among the countless figures covering such topics.

 

It almost seems that the topic of gentrification and changing neighborhoods has become an all too general term. How can you identify gentrification? When does the process of gentrification begin? Does it ever end? Is it preventable? Who are the gentrifyers? Gentrification is spoken about as almost an uncontrollable plague of sort, an enigma and an inevitable. While it is important to take the position of a researcher or historian while considering gentrification, it is also vital to examine the process from a personal, more humanistic viewpoint; after all, those who are being most greatly impacted are people.  

 

Enter Concepcion Bosque: Born in the Dominican Republic and moved to the Southside neighborhood of Williamsburg at the age of eleven.

Introduction