A group of young black professionals in Anacostia has gathered over spinach-strawberry salad and white wine, when the conversation turns, as if often does, to what they call the “G-word”: gentrification.
“I used to think it was about race — when white people moved into a black neighborhood,” said lawyer Charles Wilson, 35, who lost to Marion S. Barry Jr. in the 2008 Ward 8 D.C. Council race. “Then, I looked up the word. It’s when a middle-class person moves into a poor neighborhood. And I realized: I am a gentrifier. I couldn’t believe it. I don’t like that word. It makes so many people uncomfortable.”
“Actually, I thought it was if you see a white guy in Anacostia, listening to an iPod, jogging or walking a dog!” joked Sariane Leigh, 33, who writes a blog called Anacostia Yogi, putting her hand on her hip and waving a sweet-potato fry for emphasis.
The friends fold into laughter. They agree not to use the G-word, at least for one night.
That doesn't happen! Does it?