Gentrification and the Role of Community from the Perspective of Black-Owned Businesses in a Historically Black Neighborhood




Hopson, Jessica

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This study examines how a sense of community is created and maintained in the gentrifying, historically black Greater U Street neighborhood in Washington D.C. The process of gentrification from the perspective of black business owners can be understood using a theoretical framework that outlines the recursive relationship between physical space, interpersonal connections, and social interactions. Connections within the original, black community are maintained by reinforcing shared sets of meaning. These shared sets of meanings are reinforced through regular interaction with in-group members and by drawing boundaries between in-group (original, black community) and out-group members (new, white community). The ways in which everyday interactions work to maintain connections within the original community and insight into the different sets of meaning each community ascribes to the neighborhood are provided through recorded interviews with ten business owners in the Greater U Street neighborhood.



Gentrification, Black-owned businesses, Displaced, Neighborhoods, Washington DC, Community