The Bronx: Fires, Hip Hop and Gentrification
Back in the 70s, hundreds of Bronx apartment blocks went up in flames: residents blamed real estate owners for burning down run-down buildings to make a profit. Politicians meanwhile blamed residents, mostly immigrants from Latin America and Africa, and city planners wanted to evict them. For decades, the Bronx became equated with crime, gangs and poverty.
But people who grew up in this vibrant part of the city say the stereotype of a gang-infested neighborhood where people don’t go out without a knife doesn’t do it justice. The neighborhood has changed a lot in the past few years, with yoga studios, hip cafés, and chic apartment buildings aiming to attract wealthier clientele.
Half a century after the Bronx fires, the new threat is gentrification. And many creative people are trying to rekindle the unique spirit of this neighborhood.
Author: Antje Passenheim
Presenter: Natalie Muller
Bronx photo project on instagram: @everydaybronx
Documentary film on the Bronx Fires: decadeoffire.com
Bronx Hip Hop Museum: uhhm.com