Theses Master's

Rising While Black: A Qualitative Study on Black-led Gentrification and Socioeconomic Mobility in Central Harlem

Peppers, Briana

Nationwide cities are working to revitalize urban spaces and to slow and reverse the trend of suburban flight. Schools and neighborhoods are at the heart of this mission, with some arguing that education policy is housing policy. Essentially, where there is segregated housing there is segregated schools and that economic and racial diversity in schools is a consequence of economic and racial diversity in neighborhoods. For minority children, living and going to school in mixed-income and racially diverse populations leads to better economic success in adulthood than when minority children live and go to school with majority low-income and high-minority populations. This research has influenced both housing and education policy to support the development of mixed-income and racially diverse schools and neighborhoods. As such policy and practice continues to encourage gentrification, including that of black gentrification, what role does the black gentrifying population play on neighborhood and school equality for low-income black students?
Herein lies the objective of the present research. While existing research addresses the role of class on educational equality for low-income black students, it does so without specific scrutiny of the role of the black middle-class on education and neighborhood equality for low-income black students.Thus, the following research questions: (a) how can black gentrification impact education equality for low-income black students?; (b) if controlled for income, does race matter in obtaining educational equality?;(c) how can urban planning impact mixed income black neighborhoods and schools? This research used face-to face in-depth interviews and focus groups to evaluate experiences, perceptions, opinions, beliefs, and attitudes about the research topic.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
June 22, 2016