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The Made in America dust-up that embroiled hip-hop mogul Jay-Z mounted in a public relations war against the Kenney administration was about much more than the festival being held on the Ben Franklin Parkway. It was about the ongoing fights that are driven by gentrification, race, and class.

In communities across the city and the nation, black residents who lack Jay-Z’s media influence or economic power are losing fights over how public space is used.  While Jay-Z can call a big-city mayor to task and win the privilege of having his festival in the city’s most high-profile public space, most people of color aren’t so fortunate.

So while I’m pleased that a black-owned hip-hop festival will remain in Philadelphia’s premiere event space after the Kenney administration came to terms with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, I’m more concerned about the wealthy Parkway neighbors whose complaints led the city to try to move the event. Perhaps more important, I’m concerned about the everyday people of color who are being pushed out of public spaces such as the Parkway every day.

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