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Guess Who’s Coming to the Neighborhood?

Guess Who’s Coming to the Neighborhood?

Keith Jones walks around his Washington, D.C., neighborhood watching a sweeping racial transformation in real time: Young, White professionals just starting out bike by his house, walk their kids to school and sit on their front porches sipping coffee.

“The city was once called ‘Chocolate City’; now it’s more like vanilla swirl,” said Jones, a 57-year-old third-generation D.C. resident, using a common moniker among African-Americans to describe the nation’s capital.

“I can reflect firsthand on what this city was like 20 years ago because I was born and raised here, and I have worked here all my life. I never left.”
As a teenager, Jones delivered newspapers door-to-door in the same Petworth community where he lives today; his mother lives three minutes away in the house she bought 42 years ago. On a recent tour of his neighborhood, Jones pointed to homes that were once owned by Black families, now occupied by Whites.

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Read more in the September 2014 issue of EBONY Magazine.

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