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Black in PlaceThe Spatial Aesthetics of Race in a Post-Chocolate City$
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Brandi Thompson Summers

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469654010

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469654010.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

Washington’s Atlas District

Washington’s Atlas District

Inequality, Cultural Vibrancy, and the New Regime of Diversity

(p.61) 2 Washington’s Atlas District
Black in Place

Brandi Thompson Summers

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter highlights the relationship between race, diversity, belonging, and urban development in the historical devaluation of H Street as a Black space, and its revaluation as an emerging multicultural neighborhood. In light of H Street’s violent past, the narrative describing its history reinvents itself in order to write the violent times away and repurpose the neighborhood for a new market and a new time. The chapter also focuses on local programs with intended race-neutral policies that have racial consequences. The chapter further explores how “diversity” is institutionalized as a valuable social commodity to market and constitutes the political economy of the corridor. In other words, the aestheticization of blackness and space contribute to the structuring of H Street as both universal and exclusive. Corporate brands, as well as local public/private partnership organizations, strategically incorporated “diversity” as part of their official language to justify their introduction to the space – signaling affective cohesion with the neighborhood.

Keywords:   Urban planning, Diversity, Neoliberalism, Governance, Economic development

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