Brooklyn's been home to rappers from Foxy Brown to Mos Def to Notorious B.I.G. The New York City borough is such a hotspot for hip hop that the shout-out "Where Brooklyn at?" is a staple in rap songs. Plus, each year Brooklyn hosts an annual hip-hop festival where rap royalty such as Q-Tip, KRS-One, and De La Soul have performed. Given the borough's historic ties to hip hop, why is a petition circulating to convince a new club in Park Slope to showcase "indie" music rather than hip hop? Evidently, the neighborhood's been gentrified so much that black people are no longer wanted there, even though Park Slope was once a mostly African-American and immigrant 'hood.
I'm back in Portland, still processing and reflecting on my trip to the Midwest. I'll be posting more about that soon, but in the meantime, I wanted to share this video about displacement/gentrification in Detroit, featuring Detroit-based female hip-hop artist, Invincible. It's a beautiful example of how powerful a story becomes when different forms of media are combined.
Here in Northeast Portland is a place called In Other Words Women's Books and Resources, a nonprofit bookstore founded in 1993. I've only lived in Portland for a year, so most of what I know I've learned from talking to people and reading news articles, like this.
A few nights ago I went to a screening of a short documentary called Moving In: A nonprofit feminist bookstore and the politics of place. The documentary, created by Dawn Jones (who's on the board of Bitch; photographed below), examines the bookstore's 2006 move, which resulted from being economically displaced from their original neighborhood, to a historically African-American neighborhood. The film is fantastic; you should see it if you have the opportunity.