The Black Mecca. Gentrification and Complex Socio-Cultural Consequences

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Much of the literature on gentrification is written from an economic perspective, with many different sub-discussions within the larger gentrification debate. Research done through a social and cultural lens is mostly absent within these discussions. This thesis therefore sets out to clarify the main socio-cultural consequences of gentrification in black neighborhoods, taking Central Harlem as its main case study. Through a multidisciplinary framework this thesis positions itself at the crossroad of the social, cultural and political history fields. First, this thesis will start off with an explanation on gentrification and its deep connection with displacement practices. Next, it will address the relationship between gentrification and crime with a particular focus on race. It will be explained how these two fields find their common ground in displacement. Finally, identity formation is seen as an important part of any analysis related to displacement but in this specific case study the peculiar characteristics of the neighborhood make it even more compelling. Key Words: Gentrification; Displacement; War on Drugs; Mass Incarceration; Identity Forming; Ethnic/Racial Identity; Central Harlem; New York.
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