NewsOne: Gentrified D.C. tries to whitewash Chocolate City by targeting go-go music

NewsOne, April 8th, 2019: Gentrified D.C. tries to whitewash Chocolate City by targeting go-go music

After an influx of white people invaded Washington, D.C., at breakneck speed in recent years, the city’s paling population has apparently aimed its gentrifying sights on one of the District’s most prized cultural inventions: go-go music. The genre of music and regional phenomenon created in the nation’s capital has reportedly become the object of angst to new residents in the city’s historically black Shaw neighborhood.

According to a new report from the DCist, there have been complaints about a cellphone store in Shaw playing go-go music, which is typically described as funky percussion-based instrumentation that is many times compared to a junkyard band (in fact, one of the top go-go groups is called Junk Yard Band).

The Metro PCS store on the historic corner of 7th Street and Florida in Northwest Washington has been playing go-go music without any complaint for nearly a quarter of a century, the owner told the DCist. But that all changed about a month ago when T-Mobile, Metro PCS’ parent company, ordered an end to the musical tradition, Donald Campbell said.

The District of Columbia has become Ground Zero for gentrification in the nation, according to statistics compiled by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), which works to attain and preserve fairness when it comes to small businesses, affordable housing and more.

“Washington, D.C., was the most gentrified city by percentage of eligible neighborhoods that experienced gentrification,” NCRC wrote in a report entitled Shifting Neighborhoods. “Neighborhoods were considered to be eligible to gentrify if in 2000 they were in the lower 40 percent of home values and family incomes in that metropolitan area.”

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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