The Book

Last week, I signed a contract with Arcadia Publishing and The History Press to publish my oral history! I’m so thrilled that they are taking a chance on me and this project.

The book will be out in late 2021.

Gentrification Conversations

In Februrary, right before the pandemic drove us all inside, the DC Oral History Collaborative reached out with amazing news: they are funding my project!

By some measures, Washington D.C.s 20001 zip code contains the most gentrified neighborhood in the country. The same Victorian-style rowhouse that is ubiquitous throughout Shaw and Bloomingdale sold for $8,000 in the 1950s and is now on the market for $1.4 million (and the sale prices rise daily.)

Throughout 2019, I sat in living rooms throughout the area and collected oral histories from eight residents who arrived in the area at different times over the last 70 years, from a woman who was born here in the 1940s to one who bought in 2016.

Together, they have seen this area go from poor and peaceful to an open-air drug market to wealthy and amenity-filled, and from full to near-vacant to full again. Neighborhood schools were officially segregated, then school integration and white flight left them with de facto segregation, and now they are integrating, with all-white PTOs leading majority non-white schools. Parents grapple with sensitive power dynamics.

The oral histories I collected tell the story of the neighborhood.

I’ll be creating a podcast series, “Gentrification Conversations,” to bring all these voices to the public. Stay tuned!

The DC Oral History Collaborative is a project of HumanitiesDC, the DC Public Library, and the Historical Society.