Race, Class, And Politics In The Cappuccino City

Paperback | April 24, 2017

byDerek S. Hyra

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For long-time residents of Washington, D.C.’s Shaw/U Street, the neighborhood has become almost unrecognizable in recent years. Where the city’s most infamous open-air drug market once stood, a farmers’ market now sells grass-fed beef and homemade duck egg ravioli. On the corner where AM.PM carryout used to dish out soul food, a new establishment markets its $28 foie gras burger. Shaw is experiencing a dramatic transformation, from “ghetto” to “gilded ghetto,” where white newcomers are rehabbing homes, developing dog parks, and paving the way for a third wave coffee shop on nearly every block.

Race, Class, and Politics in the Cappuccino City is an in-depth ethnography of this gilded ghetto. Derek S. Hyra captures here a quickly gentrifying space in which long-time black residents are joined, and variously displaced, by an influx of young, white, relatively wealthy, and/or gay professionals who, in part as a result of global economic forces and the recent development of central business districts, have returned to the cities earlier generations fled decades ago. As a result, America is witnessing the emergence of what Hyra calls “cappuccino cities.” A cappuccino has essentially the same ingredients as a cup of coffee with milk, but is considered upscale and double the price. In Hyra’s cappuccino city, the black inner-city neighborhood undergoes enormous transformations and becomes racially “lighter” and more expensive by the year.

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For long-time residents of Washington, D.C.’s Shaw/U Street, the neighborhood has become almost unrecognizable in recent years. Where the city’s most infamous open-air drug market once stood, a farmers’ market now sells grass-fed beef and homemade duck egg ravioli. On the corner where AM.PM carryout used to dish out soul food, a new es...

Derek S. Hyra is associate professor in the Department of Public Administration and Policy at American University. He is the author of The New Urban Renewal: The Economic Transformation of Harlem and Bronzeville, also published by the University of Chicago Press.

other books by Derek S. Hyra

The New Urban Renewal: The Economic Transformation of Harlem and Bronzeville
The New Urban Renewal: The Economic Transformation of H...

Hardcover|Sep 1 2008

$28.92 online$32.50list price(save 11%)
Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:April 24, 2017Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022644953X

ISBN - 13:9780226449531

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“Few American cities have changed as much and as rapidly as Washington, DC, where a process of private urban revitalization has swept through countless neighborhoods. Few areas have changed as much as Shaw, once home to the nation’s preeminent African American elite, then an epicenter of a vigorous narcotics trade, and now home to ever more visible young professional millennials. Hyra takes us to the street to explore, in the words of local DC hero Marvin Gaye, what’s been going on in a neighborhood where long standing local carryouts have been replaced by $28 burgers of foie gras and lobster. Hyra shows how, for all the change, much remains the same when it comes to social, economic, and political justice. As he reveals, when it comes to gentrification, little is what it seems to be.”