Why Harlem Is Not A Ghetto Essay example

1528 Words Oct 11th, 2016 7 Pages
Sharon Zukin’s “Why Harlem is Not a Ghetto” explores upon the reinvention and Manhattanization of Harlem. Zukin goes in depth about how Harlem went “from a dark ghetto into a middle-class, racially integrated, cosmopolitan community” (93). She examines the factors that pushed for gentrification, the influence it had on the neighborhood’s metamorphosis, and the effects of the displacement of traditional residents and businesses through new commercial activity. Through her detailed analysis of the past and present circumstances surrounding Harlem, it is apparent gentrification has widespread consequences from both ends of the spectrum, especially in regards to authenticity. In fact, Zukin goes in depth about two important points regarding authenticity. One important thing she discusses is authenticity related to a neighborhood 's origin. In this case, it relates to Harlem 's historical authenticity as a place of great artistic, social, and cultural significance and oppression. Another thing she emphasizes is the other type of authenticity related to a new beginning and in Harlem’s case, attributed to upscaling to commercialized stores and tall skyscrapers, and engaging in consumer culture. Those are all aspects of "the new Harlem Renaissance." Essentially, Zukin discusses the two points to provide a basic definition of authenticity without the inhibitions of inbred misconceptions. Essentially, she discusses how in Harlem, the unmaking of a ghetto is occurring due to the…

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