How DC Went from Redlining to Disinvestment to Mass Incarceration to Gentrification in Less than 100 Years.

Tanya Golash-Boza, University of California, Merced

This presentation will explain 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. I will describe 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. I will explore how DC came to be the nation’s “Murder Capital” and incarceration capital, and why it’s now one of the most gentrified cities in the country. 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. This talk will unveil a pattern of anti-Blackness and racial capitalism in DC that has implications for all US cities.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 209. Urban Displacement: Local Governance and Conflict