Race, Class, And Politics In The Cappuccino City

Paperback | April 17, 2017

byDerek S. Hyra

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For long-time residents of Washington, DC’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 is 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, DC’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 esta...

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

Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.7 inPublished:April 17, 2017Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022644953X

ISBN - 13:9780226449531

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“Race, Class, and Politics in the Cappuccino City forces us to rethink long standing preconceptions about gentrification, the ghetto, and the American city in the twenty-first century. Hyra’s book shows that the causes of gentrification are more varied than we imagined and the impacts on long term residents more wide-reaching than previously thought. He casts the characters in gentrification mythology in a new light, with both gentrifiers and long term residents shown to be more complex and unpredictable in their motives and actions. This is a must-read for anyone interested in the evolution of American cities in the twenty-first century.”