In Chicago, Neighborhoods That Are More Black Don't Gentrify : Code Switch : NPR: So here's one way folks tend to think about gentrification in big cities: Poorer (therefore: browner) neighborhood becomes more attractive to folks of more means (therefore: whiter) who are in search of lower housing costs. As more and more better-off folks move in, new amenities and fresh investment follow. And that, in turn, brings more demand for the neighborhood among potential gentrifiers, which pushes up housing costs and drives out the people of color who lived there before.
A new study by Harvard researchers suggests that there's also a racial ceiling to how neighborhoods gentrify, at least in Chicago, the city they examined. Robert Sampson and Jackelyn Hwang found that neighborhoods that are more black tend to stay that way.