After reading the Tapestry Report on Black Businesses Ownership in America (linked here) for research on my site assignment, I wanted to learn more about wealth disparity in the city of Detroit. The Tapestry Project is designed to uplift Black entrepreneurs in America, who see their businesses fail at greater rates than White-owned businesses. The Tapestry Report addresses three main reasons for this—a disparity in wealth, credit, and trust. My current assignment at my site, ProsperUS, is to analyze the impact of the grant-funded collaborative fellowship of FoodLab (another organization) and ProsperUS, organized by the Tapestry Project.
Upon further research for this assignment, I found an article, “Is Detroit Really Making a Comeback?,” by Gary Sands. (Unfortunately, I can’t track down the link now) This article essentially served as a precursor to what we read in “How to Kill a City.” The article explained that even though job creation is on the rise in Detroit, the vast majority of jobs have gone to outsiders, and not Detroit residents. I also learned that most of the funds being poured into the city were concentrated in the Downtown/Midtown sector, which was validated in “How to Kill a City” as well. This article really didn’t address anything new for me, I knew that the “revitalization” of Detroit hasn’t been benefiting all of it’s residents equitably. However, this article was able to connect the issues laid out in the Tapestry Report, in the context of Detroit. A rise in Black-owned business ownership in Detroit from local entrepreneurs could help to benefit the rest of Detroit’s citizens who are currently being left behind by the rapid reconstruction of select parts of the city. This is what the Fellowship of FoodLab and ProsperUS is working on a small scale to address.