reference materials –

3 12 2008

“Gentrification did not only affect these neighborhoods economically, but also socially and culturally. Gentrification changes the social environment and established class based and ethnic networks

. New comers bring their own culture to the community. They try to change the physical image of the neighborhood. For instance, they would change the decorations and attractions of the neighborhood. They would install gardens and better parks they think is culturally appropriate. Anderson cited that “as the newcomers wittingly or unwittingly establish a cultural outpost of the larger society, they tend to discount this significant proportion of the host community and are fairly criticized for not following the cultural footsteps of their processors”.


“Many of the characteristics of black neighborhoods documented in ethnographies by Elijah Anderson and others can be seen here. For example, Mr. Fletcher (Danny Glover) and Mike (Mos Def) encourage the neighborhood youths to appreciate black heroes (particularly Fats Waller) and the local black history. In Code of the Street, Anderson discusses how black “old heads” serve to remind black youth of their history and encourage moral behavior. However, as Anderson notes, the authority of old heads is declining and this, too, can be seen in the movie. Mr. Fletcher seems to have lost some of the authority he once had and is conflicted about how to best serve the community. The Passaic City Council wants to demolish the historical building where Mr. Fletcher’s video store is located and replace it with an ugly and generic looking housing development. Though Mr. Fletcher is troubled by the arrival of a corporate video store into the neighborhood, he also tries to steal their core ideas (DVDs only, action/adventure and comedies only, uniforms, etc.) to keep his store alive.”





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