Spike Lee on Gentrification of Inner-City

Spike Lee on Gentrification of Inner-City

Spike Lee Talks Gentrification

Spike Lee was invited to speak at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York as part of the Black History program. During the lecture, the legendary film director interrupted a question that was centered on the good or bad in gentrification.

Before the question could be formed, Lee gave a passionate response to the effects of gentrification and the people who have become a part of those historic neighborhoods. Spike Lee’s colorful response has been classified as ranting; however, beyond the profanitybeyond the profanity, the lecture revealed some of the emotion that becomes hidden away in the many pages of reports to justify the changes.

During the lecture, Spike Lee discussed the changes in the neighborhoods. “And why does it take an influx of white New Yorkers in the south Bronx, in Harlem, in Bed Stuy, in Crown Heights for the facilities to get better?”, Lee questioned the listening audience. The city moving to add additional trash days, the same trash that needed to be picked up all along, now made possible through gentrification.

The process of gentrificationgentrification seems easy enough on paper. On paper it is easy to glorify gentrification with the increased property values and higher income levels; however, those reports ignore the many people lost in the grandeur of what will benefit a few while displacing an entire culture. 


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