Draws a direct line between redlining, incarceration, and gentrification in an American city.
This book shows how a century of redlining, disinvestment, and the War on Drugs wreaked devastation on Black people and paved the way for gentrification in Washington, DC. In Before Gentrification, Tanya Maria Golash-Boza tracks the cycles of state abandonment and punishment that have shaped the city, revealing how policies and policing work to displace and decimate the Black middle class.
Through the stories of those who have lost their homes and livelihoods, Golash-Boza explores how DC came to be the nation's "murder capital" and incarceration capital, and why it is now a haven for wealthy White people. This troubling history makes clear that the choice to use prisons and policing to solve problems faced by Black communities in the twentieth century—instead of investing in schools, community centers, social services, health care, and violence prevention—is what made gentrification possible in the twenty-first. Before Gentrification unveils a pattern of anti-Blackness and racial capitalism in DC that has implications for all US cities.