Filed under BoB Articles
Gentrification is a bitch….Marx would say “citizens of overtown unite”
I remember seeing this poster outside of SoHo Lounge. Frankly, I don’t know of anyone that wants to save Overtown as it currently exists. It’s worn down, dirty, and impoverished.
Having said that, the city has to do a better job of creating affordable and workforce housing. This doesn’t mean that Overtown should be “anti” development. It simply means that our elected leaders must provide a viable housing alternative for these residents, and provide some funds for economic development in the area.
Simply saying, “stop the luxury condos” is myopic, stupid, and out of touch with reality.
The problem is there aren’t many Overtown citizens to unite. The construction of the I-95, decades ago, left it in social and economic ruin.
These posters are a fluke, but that doesn’t change the fact that our local housing authority is so incompetent the Fed may have to take it over.
The history of Overtown and Liberty City, if it were widely known outside of Miami, would shock people. In Miami, people would shrug their shoulders as if to say, “That’s Miami.”
The wholesale relocation of people and eradication of any trace of their presence –as serves the Powers That Be– has a long history in South Florida (actually, the entire state, if truth be told). This han’t been limited to the poor or people of color, either.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to look at the areas that have undergone gentrification in the last decade to figure who’s going to get hit. Meanwhile, silly little issues like sinkholes, flood patterns, traffic mitigation …oh, and the occasional hurricane surge, are problems that will be left to whoever ends up there once the builders have come and gone.
It is a tragic story. One that most are not aware of. I’ve talked to homeless people t hat were around and displaced during the construction of the I-95. The ramifications of which shaped Liberty City and can still be felt today. What is left is a ghost town or a development gap as we building-junkies like to call it. It’s hard to imagine it being the thriving African-American social hub it was once before.
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