moving in on the past
Maud Newton posted an excellent entry on gentrification the other day, talking about some of Jonathan Lethem and Tayari Jones' thoughts and fictional treatments of the subject, in Brooklyn and Atlanta respectively. Maud quotes Lethem saying (at a Liberal Arts pilot taping):
Lethem said that as a boy he harbored paralyzing guilt because his sympathies lay on both sides of the gentrification argument, with "the people who were being displaced," and with "the people who thought the place could be made wonderful."Yeah. I've been thinking a good deal about this since one of our neighbors confirmed and fleshed out what we'd been told about our house. It was the clinic of the first black surgeon in Lexington, Dr. John E. Hunter; his home was next door, his father's house on the other side and his brother's house two down. It makes sense. Our house has that great front entry room, a waiting room, and a weird little side door that would have gone directly into the exam room (I'm guessing) and which we've blocked off with a bookcase. I'm feeling a somewhat obsessive need to find out all I can about the man. It feels like we shouldn't be allowed to live here and not know the history.