Welcome, To Durham.
Move to Durham In the Spring
When the Farmers Market opens at 8 am on Saturdays! You can walk the streets enjoying world class food, eclectic music and brush elbows with venture capitalists and community co-op members. You can enjoy art walks!
Just, don't look to the left, where the natives struggle to make ends meet, and don't wonder how the artists or people working downtown can afford to make it day to day to create these experiences for you.
Move to Durham in the Spring!
You can purchase a fixer upper in a highly monitored neighborhood for pennies on the dollar. Within a year you will be surrounded by others, like minded, wealthy, forward thinking colorblind folks! The New Great Americans!
Just don't get to know the neighbors who have been there for years, it makes it more difficult to call the cops on them if you know them as actual hueman beings.
When you move to Durham in the Fall
You see people begin to put things on lay away to make a way for a happy-ish holiday.
In the late fall watch the Lucky Strike Water Tower Light up in the multi-million dollar American Tobacco District!
When you move to Durham in the Fall
It becomes harder to avoid the literal tent cities set up at the exit ramps of Southpoint Mall.
In the fall you can watch the leaves change from the banks of the Eno River or on a canoe on Jordan Lake!
With more thriving start ups than any other historically black... wait, what?
Excuse me... than any other “progressive” city in the South!
Welcome to Durham where two days ago “I had to watch someone take their last breath.” In his eyes was all of his own city that he never got to know. It was his city, and he never got an opportunity to figure it out.
This is history repeating itself. People with “resources” coming into an area that isn't “civilized” “modernized” “streamlined” yet. Removing the people who were there, who were surviving, who had figured out a way to at least live, for the outsiders own interests, and with the help of middle men after the outsiders capital.
Gentrification is the new, politically correct version of colonialism. The idea that “We can do better with what you have than you can, and what can you do to stop us from taking it anyway?” and many quieter “well meaning” people saying “well, WE'RE not displacing these people, we are just 'helping' to fix up the neighborhood.” Meanwhile, the system sneaks in causing mistrust on both sides, until the “mixed” neighborhood is won out by the ones with money, for fear of what those who “have nothing to lose” at this point, may do to save their last strand of dignity.
When I have a conversation with a man who moved from Kansas City two weeks ago, to Durham, because Raleigh was “too stuck up and white,” he pridefully says “There's Linda! (name changed out of respect) and proceeds to say how he passes her “working the streets” everyday on his path from his $2000/mo renovated tobacco warehouse 2 bedroom apartment in West Village to his job at American Underground and “when she can remember his name” he gives her money. I replied, “yes, we know Ms Linda, she likes our coffee. She even joked the other day that when it turns warm out we would be chasing her away, which of course, we never would.”
When that same day, that same moment I turn to take care of a task and hear the story of a POC who had moved here about a year ago witnessing tragedy outside of her apartment.
I don't care about people moving around. I love that my city is changing, becoming more artistic, busier. If there was anything I learned in Egypt it was ALWAYS welcome the tourists, they may be dumb, but they save the economy. The problem with this type of gentrification, (which I along with many other Vintage Durhamites see) is that as Durham is placed on top 10 places to visit, to move to, to start up a small business or family, we still watch as native POC in Durham are increasingly marginalized, forgotten about, hidden away from sight.
Let's also be real here. The way that systematic patriarchy and racism are set up, it's not those who are taking advantage of it that have to worry. Sure, maybe you get robbed, mugged once or twice even, when someone is desperate to get whatever it is; food for their family, diapers, medicine, drugs to ease the pain. However, for the most part what systematic mind control does is convince a people that they are worthless. When you see no worth in your own life you have no problem taking the lives of people who look like you. That is what is happening in my city. That is the other side of the “Black Lives” Movement the “Hey, we're having enough trouble figuring out how to heal on our own, we don't need you destroying us too.”
It's also how Donald Trump is leading the Republican Primary race. He has no plan. No experience, well except for the fact that he can run a corporation, which is pretty much what we have allowed America to become with The Almighty Dollar being it's most compassion worthy citizen. Donald Trump speaks to the people who are already marginalized in society but still have what little they have. The un-privileged white class that just wants to be left alone in their remote small towns with their families and their happiness. The fear that they rally with is the reality that un-privileged people of color live with; that without someone, anyone powerful and scary on their side they will lose everything in the exchange of currency and resources.
How do we fix it? Well, in my humble opinion it's making space for people to create their own culture and make their stories more accessible. It isn't a whole bunch of white guilt, or white inspired and managed outreach programs. It also isn't a well meant, but lack luster cultural movement with people just screaming about pride, and matter, without really examining the history, both prideful and painful, of a people and why they (we) think the way they (we) do. Programs that encourage ideas, teach self worth, creation and options, rather than history, economics, and boundaries. Programs that bring people together over what we have in common rather than illuminate the social categories.
Welcome To Durham, where a rEvolution is still possible.