In our current Detroit history class (led by the fabulous Stephen Ward), we started with studying the infancy of Detroit as a city, and we are now studying Detroit post- World War II.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but as a kid in elementary school, most of the teachers presented the topic of racism as something that was rampant in the South, but non-existent in the North. A few years after that, teachers would steadily reveal small tidbits of information that revealed pieces of our Northern racist past.
Prior to our Detroit history class, I intellectually knew of the racism in Metro Detroit, and could dig up examples such as the riots, or the KKK groups that currently surround the city. But within the readings we had in class, many of them contained accounts of people protesting Blacks from moving into their neighborhoods. And those accounts were consumed with pure racism.
Frankly, after reading those accounts, I could understand why the city is still largely segregated, and why so many issues haven’t been resolved. Because that kind of hate can’t be resolved in just 50 years.
What kind of role do you think racism plays in the city today?