Things Fall Apart When white People Come…2o16 or 1800’s
Chinua Achebe wrote about it in a 1958 African story that describes how things changed to the detriment of the Africans just as gentrification works to the detriment of non-whites today. As Richard Brookshire learned recently when ‘the threat of involving the New York Police Department for something that could have been solved with a neighborly knock on the door’. http://wapo.st/2dytZun
And, Colin Turnbull wrote about it in a true account, Human Cycles. Admission, this may not be the right book per memory, I read it many years ago. If I find it is, I’ll make a correction but, it really is worth reading because it does a good comparison of the difference between how Africans vs whites live.
His account is almost the exact same as that described by Achebe.
When white people come, everything changes in the village of the 1800’s (and before) as gentrification does to communities of color. In one of the poorest wards of Washington, DC, a park on the Anacostia River where Blacks have been recreating all day until wee hours of the morning, enjoying the moon light by the river is now closed at dark…since whites (women) started jogging there. And, the early closure is police enforced. In that same park, playing an ‘organized’ sport, baseball, by whites is considered a more legitimate activity than Blacks picnicing or just sitting enjoying the cool relaxing river scene. In that same poor DC ward, over policing is regular resulting in more parking and j-walking tickets and arrest for minor traffic violations. Not to mention whites who seem to have a different dress code than Blacks, even poor Blacks.
Black men, and surely not older Black men just don’t go to the Safeway like this…even, the poorest of Black men are more respectful.
When whites come, as colonizers or gentrifiers, things fall apart in every way, even, morally,