This text investigates the literate identities and practices of urban youth in rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods, with a focus on New York City's Harlem neighborhood. The author takes a participatory action approach to define and engage with new directions in youth literacies in socially constructed spaces (i.e., classrooms, gentrifying communities). The author examines connections between race and place by discussing how Harlem youth, teachers, longtime black residents, and new white residents to the area view their role within the gentrification process, with quotes from community members and stakeholders. The active response of youth, via critical literacy/storytelling, in both traditional (print) and multimodal (digital video, etc) forms is investigated, honored, and thoughtfully considered for powerful implications for in-service teaching practice, educational policy, and teacher education. Vignettes, photos, and quotes from students and community members are included throughout.