Gentrification is destroying Black neighborhoods from the east coast to the the west coast. The outrage in D.C. over go-go music is a prime example, which resulted in epic protests just yesterday. South Los Angeles is has been enduring the same transformation and before Nipsey Hussle‘s death he was trying to stop his neighborhood from being taken over by colonizers.
Black South Los Angeles residents have been pushed out and priced out of their communities for years. Back in January of 2018, LA Weekly reported that the median cost of a house in the Crenshaw District rose 47.3 percent from 2014 to 2017, from $444,000 to $655,000. Damien Goodmon, director of Housing Is a Human Right told the outlet that gentrification is “a workers issue. It’s a public health issue. It’s an education issue. It’s an environment issue. It’s a civil rights issue.”
Hussle clearly so the issue with gentrification in his community. The Los Angeles Times reports how the rapper was fighting back. Not only did he create jobs in his community with Marathon Clothing but he also had multiple investments, including buying a strip mall. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Hussle was worth $8 million at the time of his death late last month and he was spreading the love.
One of his major goals was to revitalize Hyde Park by working with other musicians and politicians. The Los Angeles Times reported, “Hussle was part of an investment group that was planning to use a tax incentive carved out in a recent federal law to revive not only his neighborhood, but other forgotten, low-income communities in 11 cities, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico.” He had also scheduled to meet with Sen. Tim Scott, the only Black Republican in the Senate “to discuss rolling out an investment fund they had created called ‘Our Opportunity.’” Their mission is to work with the hometown heroes “of every large, majority black city to, in a systematic way, acquire and develop transformative projects,” according t his business parter real estate developer David Gross, who also grew up in South L.A.
Disturbing, Trump’s disastrous tax plan may ruin this growth that Hussle tried to set the foundation for. A tax incentive has been created to build in struggling communities also known as “opportunity zones” bu Wall Street and the wealthy appeared to have taken notice and wanting to build solely because they can.
The Los Angeles Times says, “And there’s some concern that the infusion of cash and type of projects such investment could bring might spur gentrification and displacement in neighborhoods that are legitimately struggling — the very thing that Hussle was trying to fend off in his own area of South L.A. Critics fear developers will prize profits over people.”
Hussle was shot and killed outside of his Marathon Clothing store in South Central Los Angeles on March 31. We can only hope his goal to revitalize his community will live on.
Rest in power, Nipsey Hussle.