Whose change is it? : a multimodal exploration of urban ecology and gentrification resistance in crumbling Black communities.




Lusk, Jeniece Tyria.

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An extensive body of literature notes the racial and ethnic patterns of gentrification categorizing Whites as antagonizing decisions to disinvest in communities and Blacks and other minorities as falling victim to renewal (Marcuse, 1986; Gale, 1984). However, the role of Blacks in not only resisting gentrification, but as countering with Black community and economic development is not well-represented in literature (Muniz, 1998). New literature is arising looking at Blacks as investors in revitalization, attempting to protect their identity and loyalty to the community (Hyra, 2006; Pattillo, 2003; Boyd, 2000). Michelle Boyd (2000) refers to this effort as "defensive development". To further explore the characteristics of a community's likelihood of achieving defensive development I chose to focus on the Elm Avenue area, a stark Black community located in Waco, Texas currently entering its own battle with gentrification. Due to the exploratory nature of this study, I chose to implement three methodologies: a quantitative phone survey of the local community's attitudes and opinions of the Elm Avenue area, a pair of focus groups, and one-on-one interviews with key informants serving as stakeholders in the area's development. Combined, these methodologies provide well-round insight into the perceptions of likelihood that the Elm Avenue area might achieve Boyd's defensive development.


Includes bibliographical references (p. ).


Community., Urban., Gentrification., Revitalization., Redevelopment., Black communities., Growth machines., Waco, Texas., Qualitative study., Quantitative study., Defensive development.