In an inspiring story out of the New York metropolitan area, one socially conscious white couple is done gentrifying their city neighborhood and has moved on to an excessive expanse of once-native land just up the Hudson.
After a few good years on their Bed-Stuy block, thirty-somethings Christine and Kyle Clark decided to pack up their privilege and trade their newly-renovated brownstone for greener, guilt-free pastures.
“Around June 2020, we realized we no longer wanted to be ‘those white people,’ taking up space in a historically Black area,” said Christine. “Urban real estate was just too problematic. So, naturally, we became landowners.”
The Clarks’ new property spans three hectares of gorgeous, untilled Hudson Valley. Though the fertile land was once home to various tribes, much to the Clarks’ relief, today it has no recent residents of color whom the couple might have to acknowledge.
“Upstate, we can finally reconnect with nature and be ourselves,” explained Kyle. “In the city, we had to plaster our windows in BLM posters just so we would be able to face our neighbors when we went outside.”
“But out here?” Kyle added, “It’s been weeks since I’ve seen a single Black or brown person! And I’m a better ally for it.”
Whatever these white folks are up to this time, they’re going about things in a much more “woke” way.
For instance, when the Clarks discovered their purchase sat on an Indigenous ceremonial site, they sought the counsel of local elder Angela Janssen, a land broker whose Dutch ancestors displaced the area’s original inhabitants centuries ago.
“It’s essential we pay respect to sacred ground,” urged Janssen, “That’s why, if and when the Clarks ever sell, we’re going to honor the land by charging many, many times what they originally paid for it.”
Until then, these modern pioneers are putting down roots and hope to inspire their mostly-Caucasian circle to do the same.
“Just the other day I was telling my astrologist Lilibeth, ‘Look, we’re not getting any younger,’” shared Christine. “’Wouldn’t it be a hoot if a whole fuck-ton of us just settled down up here?’”
Now there’s an idea!