Just One Mile: Gentrification in Congress Heights, DC

What Do They Think?

While we were driving around and taking photographs of the “progress” I saw two students in band uniforms in front of a house across from the school (Ballou High School). The house wasn’t in the best shape – nothing like the newly constructed homes just down the hill – indicative of most of the homes right around Ballou. I stopped and introduced myself and asked them what they thought of the new school. They replied that they loved it and it was much better than before. I asked what they thought about the classes and the education. They said that it had improved as well. I asked what the teachers were like – had they changed. They said that there are now all kinds of “different” teachers – not just black.

Walking in front of Ballou – Even I don’t walk in front of Ballou…

Passing the tennis center, which is partially open, I saw two older black gentlemen loading their rackets and ball hoppers into their trunk and stopped to ask them what they thought of all of the changes. One said “I like the changed, the place is great, but you know they are coming now – they will be here any minute.” I asked him if he had seen any changes in the people who come to the tennis center. He said no. When I asked him what part of the city he comes from to play tennis, he replied, “Oh! I’m from Maryland,” and laughed. http://www.rwlcsetennis.org/#!renovation-impact/cee5