‘what if’

The Red Rooster, I say, is a harbinger of a changing neighbourhood. I make reference to a line from Open City: “In the Harlem night, there were no whites.”

Cole laughs, revealing the gap between his front teeth. “Not any more! That’s a Harlem night in 2006.”

He takes a nuanced view of gentrification, a topic preoccupying much of the city, remarking that, “Not only white money is moving in. So there is this kind of simultaneous expansion but also displacement that’s happening to the point where, as a black person, you’ve also got to ask yourself, What if I’m the gentrifier?”

-Neil Munshi ‘Lunch with the FT: novelist Teju Cole‘ The Financial Times


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