Gentrification and Diaspora in San Francisco

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We are waiting to see if the city will understand what the community already does: that Marcus Books is a historical landmark; that it is San Francisco; that it is the Fillmore’s best self. If they do, perhaps the store can stay. We—your parents, sisters, nieces—will have to go.

Jasmine Elizabeth Johnson’s “Dear Khary (An Autobiography of Gentrification)” combines an account of the author’s brother’s premature death with an elegy to their drastically changed San Francisco neighborhood. The result will pry your heart right out of your chest.


Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →