“A must-read for those interested in understanding how anti-Black policy decisions drive mass incarceration, gentrification, and dire racial inequality in Washington, DC, and throughout our nation.”—Derek Hyra, author of Race, Class, and Politics in the Cappuccino City

Before Gentrification shows how a century of redlining, disinvestment, and the War on Drugs wreaked devastation on Black people and paved the way for gentrification in Washington, DC. Author Tanya Maria Golash-Boza tracks the cycles of state abandonment and punishment that have shaped the city, revealing how policies and policing work to displace and decimate the Black middle class.

Through the stories of those who have lost their homes and livelihoods, Golash-Boza explores how DC came to be the nation’s “murder capital” and incarceration capital, and why it is now a haven for wealthy White people. This troubling history makes clear that the choice to use prisons and policing to solve problems faced by Black communities in the twentieth century—instead of investing in schools, community centers, social services, health care, and violence prevention—is what made gentrification possible in the twenty-first. Before Gentrification unveils a pattern of anti-Blackness and racial capitalism in DC that has implications for all US cities.

Tanya Maria Golash-Boza is the Executive Director of the University of California Washington Center and a Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Merced. She is the author of five books that engage with issues such as racism, immigration policy, human rights, and race in Latin America.

See below for a list of upcoming events for Before Gentrification