It’s Called Gentrification

Travis Wood


SEETIES “It’s Called Gentrification” is a 2-minute short film by young director Travis Wood. A creative homage to the film ‘Boyz n the Hood‘ (1991). A mixed media animation with an original song by Charles Frempong-Longdon. Live-action shot in Brooklyn, NY.

About the FILM | Boyz n the Hoodis a 1991 American teen hood drama film written and directed by John Singleton in his directorial debut, and starring Cuba Gooding Jr., Ice Cube, Morris Chestnut, Laurence Fishburne, Nia Long, Regina King and Angela Bassett. This film was the acting debut for both Ice Cube and Morris Chestnut. ‘Boyz n the Hood’ was filmed in (the-then district of) South Central Los Angeles, California from October 1 to November 28, 1990 and was released cinematically in the United States on July 12, 1991. It was nominated for both Best Director and Best Original Screenplay during the 64th Academy Awards, making Singleton the youngest person ever nominated for Best Director and the first African-American to be nominated for the award. The film was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival. In 2002, the United States Library of Congress deemed the film “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry.

About the WORD | Gentrification: “the process of renovating and improving a house or district so that it conforms to middle-class taste” – according to the Oxford DictionariesBritish sociologist Ruth Glass coined the term “gentrification” in 1964 to describe the influx of middle-class people displacing lower-class worker residents in urban neighbourhoods; her example was London, and its working-class districts such as Islington: “One by one, many of the working class neighbourhoods of London have been invaded by the middle-classes—upper and lower. Shabby, modest mews and cottages—two rooms up and two down—have been taken over, when their leases have expired, and have become elegant, expensive residences… Once this process of ‘gentrification’ starts in a district it goes on rapidly, until all or most of the original working-class occupiers are displaced and the whole social character of the district is changed.”

gentrification by travis wood

I’m talking about the message. What it stands for.
It’s called “gentrification”.
It’s what happens when property value of a certain area is brought down.
– You listening? – Yeah.
They bring the property value down. They can buy the land at a low price.
Then they move the people out, raise the value and sell it at a profit.
What we need to do is keep everything in our neighbourhood, everything, black.
Black-owned with black money.
Just like the Jews, the Italians, the Mexicans and the Koreans do.
Ain’t nobody from outside bringing down the property value.
It’s these folk!
Shooting each other and selling that crack rock and shit.
How you think crack gets into the country?
We don’t own any planes. We don’t own no ships.
We are not the people who are flying and floating that shit in here.
Every time you turn on a TV, that’s what you see.
Black people selling the rock, pushing the rock. Yeah, I know.
It wasn’t a problem when it was here.
Wasn’t a problem until it was in Iowa…
…and on Wall Street where there’s hardly any black people.
If you want to talk about guns…
…why is it that there’s a gun shop on every corner here?
– Why? – I’ll tell you why.
Just like there’s a liquor store on every corner in the black community.
Why? They want us to kill ourselves.
You go out to Beverly Hills, you don’t see that shit.
They want to us to kill ourselves.
The best way to destroy a people is to take away their ability to reproduce themselves.
Who is it that’s dying out here on these streets every night? Y’all.
– Yeah. – Young brothers like yourselves.
What am I supposed to do? Fool roll up, try to smoke me?
I’m gonna shoot the motherfucker if he don’t kill me first.
You doing exactly what they want you to do.
You have to think, young brother, about your future.

– from the ‘Boyz n the Hood‘ film script

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