This is one of the most poignant comments I’ve read on the 20th Century suburbanization and subsequent gentrification that has pummelled our cities and reflects in them the economic and social inequality plaguing our entire society. By including your own experiences and placing yourself and your family in the context of this history, you have made the piece even more powerful.
I come from the Metropolitan Detroit area and can tell stories similar to that of the Cross Bronx Expressway. The Detroit area could also draw upon mile after mile of empty farm land on which to build the suburbs to which white families in Detroit fled, mostly in the 40s, 50s, and 60s.
I was born in one of those suburbs and have no desire to return, but my experiences have influenced my preferences for living in industrial, urban areas. I live in Boston right now, but am moving to a much less gentrified city — Providence, RI — next month.
Thanks for this beautiful piece, Grace!