This article explores the historical, economic, and social factors that shape the recent migration of middle-class Blacks to low-income, urban, Black neighborhoods. It focuses on the meanings associated with this pattern of Black gentrification and the extent to which this residential pattern is consistent with previous models of urban gentrification. Using three years of ethnographic data from a low-income neighborhood in Philadelphia that has experienced an increase in Black middle-class residents, I conclude that this pattern of neighborhood change is distinct from previous models of urban gentrification. In this article, I argue that Black gentrification represents a unique set of opportunities and constraints that produce a group of middleclass African Americans willing to invest their social, economic, and cultural capital into improving the quality of life for low-income Black neighborhoods and their residents.
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