Within the last few decades anti-Blackness has attempted to erase historically Black ghettos through gentrification. This is a form of colonization that uses respectability politics and capitalist materialism to shame the ghetto while simultaneously capitalizing on its land and space.
The irony is that so much of the richness that is our culture, creativity, and community comes from the ghetto.
Often our response to the ghetto is that it’s something to escape from. That if we hustle hard enough we’ll make it out.
But this way of thinking creates a divide between who has “made it” and who has been “left behind.”
Ghetto fabulousness goes much deeper than style. The love, pride, and community seen within ghettos is Blackness continuing to exist and affirm itself, regardless of what is thrown at us economically, politically, and socially.
Something we have to collectively unlearn is that “ghetto” means “bad.” As we build for the future, let’s create living communities that center Black liberation, care, and resources that allow us to thrive.
We have always known how to build strong communities amidst and outside of anti-Black systems. Now that’s ghetto.