Intervening in discussions about gentrification and placemaking, cultural activist Roberto Bedoya champions the creative resilience found in communities of color—and exemplified by the Chicano practice of Rasquachification—to suggest "placekeeping" as a strategy for advancing racial justice goals.
I grew up in a working-class barrio called Decoto, in San Francisco’s East Bay. My neighbors were the Trianas, who had painted their house hot pink. I loved it. The Trianas’ house was across the street from the grounds of the Catholic church. Many of the Anglos who lived in the new tract homes being built around my barrio parked their cars in front of the house on Sunday, and I recall how they would speak ill of it as they made their way to church. For them the house was too bright. But for me the brightness represented Rasquache—an aesthetic of intensity that confronted our invisibility, our treatment as less than.