Week 3: Past is Nothing like the Present – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Week 3: Past is Nothing like the Present

While doing research behind the reason why Detroit filed bankruptcy in 2013, I learned about the numerous black businesses and homes that were destroyed by the federal government to make room for new highways. What stood out to me the most was the destruction of Black Bottom Neighborhood on Hastings street. I decided to include a bit about the Black Bottom Neighborhood in my research report draft for ProsperUs because it showed how much of the city’s economy can be and was self-sustained by the Black community, but white elected officials did not care and felt that they knew best and not the people who live in the city. The community knows what is best for their community. This is why I really like the work I am doing with ProsperUs. We are working on giving the Black community more support in rebuilding the Detroit economy and continue to do what we know the city and community needs. I also recommend reading these two articles (https://www.bridgemi.com/guest-commentary/bad-government-caused-detroits-decline-dont-blame-riot-slideshow and https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/top-10-reasons-detroit-went-bankrupt) stating that it was not the riots that led Detroit’s economy to begin dropping, majority of Detroit’s struggle is due to poor political decisions. I am excited to continue to learn more from my organization and from my other fellows in DCERP so feel free to share a bit more in the replies I love to hear!

3 thoughts on “Week 3: Past is Nothing like the Present”

  1. Edisa Niyifasha

    Hi Jazzmyn,

    I also don’t even think that the reason why all of this happened was because of the economy because, from the readings, Black Bottom was actually helping the economy by bringing tourists and famous people to Detroit. I highly believe this has to do with racism in the US. I have learned that racism causes harm to both the oppressor and the oppressed even though it seems like the oppressor is not being harmed at the moment, but trust me they are either paying for it or will pay for it at some point in their future.

    -Edisa 🙂

  2. Hi Jazzmyn,
    The articles you linked were really interesting. In conversations surrounding Detroit and the bankruptcy, there seems to be a tendency to view it as something that simply happened or a series of unavoidable mistakes rather than the malfeasance it was.

  3. Hey Jazzmyn,
    Thank you for linking those articles, they were really interesting! Really great that you’re able to do work with ProsperUs to restore Detroit’s economy!

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