Washington Magazine’s “I’m Not a Tourist” campaign featuring D.C. gentrifiers sparks backlash
Recently, Washingtonian Magazine ran a photo campaign titled “I’m Not a Tourist” intended to showcase the many native residents of Washington D.C. However, no Black natives were featured, despite the fact Washington D.C.’s city population is 47.7% Black.
The absence of Black natives in the controversial photoshoot reignited a local conversation on gentrification and eviction of Black residents from cities. A similar conversation occurred in Oakland earlier this month due to an incident with a white woman calling the police on a Black family barbecuing in a park. Both cities are experiencing a slow eviction of Black residents.
In response to the Washington Magazine series, Black D.C. natives Tony Lewis Jr. and Angel Anderson created a counter-campaign titled, “Native, I’m From Here.” The majority of the D.C. residents featured are Black.
After pushback, the “I’m Not a Tourist” campaign was delete from all Washingtonian Magazine social media accounts. CEO Catherine Merrill Williams told WPGC: “As a native Washingtonian, I am very sorry that our latest marketing campaign did not represent the wonderfully diverse city in which we live. This was the very beginning of a campaign in which all intentions are to include the many communities that make up our city. We solicited pictures from a diverse group of people and when the campaign is complete it will reflect that. We always appreciate feedback and are glad that people take the time to point out when we let them down.”