Here's Why We Should Stay Out Of White Neighborhoods

Buying Jordans is not holding us back as a people. Our impulsive need to be around white people, however, is killing us. We have been thoroughly programmed in this way — even our most conscious brothers don’t always elude it. You see it when J. Cole rents a home in an affluent neighborhood only to have his door kicked in by a SWAT team; his neighbors assumed he was selling dope. Cole could have easily bought–as opposed to rented–a much larger home in a black neighborhood for less or invested in several properties and had rent paid to him. If we as black people will free ourselves from the belief that we need to be around white folks all the time, we’d save ourselves a lot of headache and have a lot more money. Cole’s neighbors automatically assumed he was a drug dealer and that is inexcusable. Still, what did Cole ultimately gain from renting in that neighborhood? The constant stares? The SWAT team busting the door down? The much higher price he paid to rent there versus what he could have paid to rent (or buy) a comparable home in a black neighborhood? He lost money, peace and a door. Cole is a victim of the same programming we all share. We know that our dollar will go further if we buy in a black neighborhood but we often avoid it. Is it because home values appreciate more in white neighborhoods? That is true but once a neighborhood becomes more than 10 percent black the trend reverses; so unless you love being the only ink dot in the neighborhood, why bother? There is a better way forward. I have family members who bought a 5,000 square foot home in a black neighborhood that would have easily cost three times more if it were in one of the hottest (white) neighborhoods in the city. The neighborhood is close to retail and restaurants, filled with other black professionals. The savings has put them in a position to retire years sooner and more importantly, freed up thousands of dollars which they are now using to invest in other properties. The impact to personal finance is obvious but beyond that, collectively investing in black neighborhoods strengthens our communities. Investing in ourselves is also, incidentally, the only way to ensure we are not gentrified out of our cities. It’s time for us to begin seeing the value in our neighborhoods before the gentrifiers do and remove us. People choose to buy or rent in any given neighborhood for all sorts of valid reasons and I will not tell anyone how to spend their money. But what cannot be denied is a long history of black people being made to believe white is inherently better and more desirable. This is white supremacy and we still wrestle with it. Whether we are looking for somewhere to live, play or invest, we tend to lose out on money and peace simply because we have been trained to run away from our own people and that must stop. We must love ourselves enough to invest in ourselves. My family members are enjoying the hundreds of thousands of dollars they saved as opposed to barely making the mortgage payment every month. They are investing in other real estate and will be harvesting the passive income from that soon. Buying black is a lot cheaper and much more profitable in the longterm.]]>

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