Big cities all over the country has gone through change, on an almost daily basis, but a force that was briefly talked about on Netflix’s Luke Cage, is gentrification. This was a major issue in the movie, Do the Right Thing, as that neighborhood struggled with the racial, economic, and political differences. Gentrification became more apparent, when Jimmy Kimmel, last year decided to bring his show back to his hometown of Brooklyn, New York, the same borough where the legendary movie took place, and did a parody of how much a hipster paradise it had become. I know my neighborhood in Queens, New York, also has changed, due to gentrification, as it changes the racial and economic makeup of these neighborhoods, as most cannot afford to live there any longer.
There has been resistance to this change as well, as it has been known that a great many house owners, don’t sell their houses no matter how much developers offer to pay. This often leaves those who are resilient to change, alienating to their new neighbors, who tend to be of the same age/economic makeup. Gentrification brings with it, retail giants and as explored in one of The Sopranos final episodes, when some of Tony’s made men, try to shake down the local Starbucks, they fail, as even the Mob feels its outcome. This is what makes “our heroes” Naima and her crew, agents of change, as they are trying to stop gentrification in Aztlan.
In this “episode” the crew is still organizing their block party, as they are trying to figure how to lock down a block for a day for the MyDiaspora.com party. They also encounter Mrs. Wilderson, a homeowner, who has lived in the same neighborhood, for decades, and a prime example of who housing developers target, through either /and paying them to buy their homes/ intimidating through house ordinances. As with many of these events, the local police have been known to become overzealous in their efforts to control the crowd, but as shown in this volume, the essence of the event was to organize people who were affected, and not create chaos. Ultimately the crew, makes their stand against gentrification but loses a beloved character in the process.
Overall, this volume depicts how these events are organized and how even they are policed, as I have seen personally the same things depicted. The story by Jewels is funny and probably the best depiction of a community coming together. The art by Ronald Nelson, is simply beautiful as he makes the jokes jump off the pages. Altogether, another strong addition to this series, as it gets better with each volume, as Naima and her crew knows now that they can affect change.
Story: Jewels Art: Ronald Nelson
Story:10 Art:10 Overall:10 Recommendation: Buy