Before Gentrification: The Creation of DC's Racial Wealth Gap (Paperback)

Before Gentrification: The Creation of DC's Racial Wealth Gap By Tanya Maria Golash-Boza Cover Image

Before Gentrification: The Creation of DC's Racial Wealth Gap (Paperback)


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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.
Tanya Maria Golash-Boza is the Executive Director of the University of California Washington Center and a Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Merced. She is the author of five books that engage with issues such as racism, immigration policy, human rights, and race in Latin America.
Product Details ISBN: 9780520391178
ISBN-10: 0520391179
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication Date: September 5th, 2023
Pages: 312
Language: English
"Tanya Maria Golash–Boza’s fascinating new book, Before Gentrification: The Creation of DC’s Racial Wealth Gap, offers an unflinching critique of the urban disinvestment policies that have destroyed both lives and communities in the nation’s capital."
— Washington City Paper

"Golash-Boza grew up in the Petworth district of Washington, DC. . . . Her anger at the displacement going on in Washington, DC is directed at those in power who decided to invest in incarceration instead of working to prevent young people turning to illegal activities by re-opening community centers and programs designed to do exactly that. Her book makes a forceful argument that this was somewhat intentional and certainly preventable."
— Counterpunch

"Before Gentrification examines the historical transition in selected older neighborhoods of Washington, DC, from enclaves of stable working- and middle-class households, to those experiencing disinvestment, and finally, to those later transformed by reinvestment. . . . The book is unusually well documented. Nicely supported by maps, tables, graphs, and photographs, it also includes chapter notes, a competent subject index, and a hefty reference list."
— Journal of Urban Affairs