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Falling into the hipster narrative that comes with gentrification

I've caught myself out red handed, falling into the hipster narrative that seems to come hand in hand with gentrification.

Some of you know, I grew up around Tottenham (well Edmonton to be exact). When I was a teen, being completely honest, I was ashamed to tell people. In fact, I always avoided writing it on my CV, as I thought that I wouldn't be hired if people knew. Really!

It was only as I got older, I really appreciated what growing up in Tottenham meant. I appreciated all that my parents did for me and my sisters to afford to live comfortably there, I appreciated the way it crafted my outlook on life, my understanding of cultural diversity, but I also always remembered the difficulties, fear and violence that it brought.

More recently, I've had people talking about how Tottenham is up and coming, and how it must have been "cool growing up there". I immediately fell into the trap of feeling "proud and cool" for all of the wrong—because of someone else's perception. I was super disappointed in myself, for being so ignorant and forgetting the true root of my pride, which was rooted in MY history.

So two learnings for me:

  1. My pride come from within–my history and my narrative–not from others.

  2. With gentrification also come some ignorance, but educating those around you still always wins. Education is 👑.


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