Week #9 – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Week #9

In Sugrue’s housing sections, he argues that as a continuous influx of African-American migrants came to the city seeking industrial and wartime work, they found their ability to locate decent housing blocked. Official and unofficial segregation was the rule, and blacks had to deal with incredibly crowded housing; even if a family was able to afford to leave the newly-formed ghettos, they were generally unable to obtain housing loans or to find a neighborhood that would accept them. One of the major points of Sugrue’s work is how the perception of the riots as a random, vicious act is wholly inaccurate. Policies implemented in the 1920’s and 30’s led to the conditions that created institutional barriers for blacks. This portion of Sugrue’s work is especially relevant to my placement. Understanding the origins of the Detroit housing crisis and how it still affects people today is especially interesting. Still, 30% of Detroiters spend 70% of their income on rent. Policies established almost a century ago still affect black Detroiters now. Unofficial segregation cannot be reversed, so it makes nonprofits like Develop Detroit especially relevant and important to aid in establishing social justice for black Detroiters.


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