In honor of the thirtieth anniversary of its first publication, we are happy to reissue Nancy Milio's 9226 Kercheval, a groundbreaking book which analyzes the success of the Mom and Tots Center in urban Detroit in the late 1960s. At the time of its first publication, Robert Coles called the book "rare and extremely important" and remarked, "I can only hope that all those concerned with urban problems might read this unusual and inspiring book."
Milio adds a new Preface to update readers on the fate of the center and the issues of poverty and health care which continue today.
From the original Preface:
"This is the story of a venture in the ghetto, of the development of a ghetto health project which still lives, and of its meaning as I saw it as director. It is a tale told twice, in alternating sections: first as a factual account of events, then as a personal interpretation of those events--the story from the inside of the white outsider who was present. . . . The unfolding is literally and allegorically a story of involvement and change, the evolution of a new institution and of the people who made it. It is, in its parallel construction here, the public and private stories behind a benignly named storefront in a Detroit ghetto, the Mom and Tots Center, and of the inevitable intertwining of the two. . . . This book does say at least two things. First that health, as quality of life, as 'wholeness, unfolding,' must be mirrored in the process of undertakings intended to improve health. And that those who would involve others, especially the poor, in the process of healthful change, must themselves be involved: the one who would change others must himself be changed."
Nancy Milio is Professor of Health Policy and Administration and Professor of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is also the author of Engines of Empowerment: Using Information Technology to Create Healthy Communities and Challenge Public Policy and Nutrition Policy for Food Rich Countries: A Strategic Analysis, among others.
Once the manufacturing powerhouse of the nation, Detroit has become emblematic of failing cities everywhere—the paradigmatic city of ruins—and the epicenter of an explosive growth in images of urban decay. In Beautiful Terrible Ruins, art historian Dora Apel explores a wide array of these images, ranging from photography, advertising, and television, to documentaries, video games, and zombie and disaster films.
Apel shows how Detroit has become pivotal to an expanding network of ruin imagery, imagery ultimately driven by a pervasive and growing cultural pessimism, a loss of faith in progress, and a deepening fear that worse times are coming. The images of Detroit’s decay speak to the overarching anxieties of our era: increasing poverty, declining wages and social services, inadequate health care, unemployment, homelessness, and ecological disaster—in short, the failure of capitalism. Apel reveals how, through the aesthetic distancing of representation, the haunted beauty and fascination of ruin imagery, embodied by Detroit’s abandoned downtown skyscrapers, empty urban spaces, decaying factories, and derelict neighborhoods help us to cope with our fears. But Apel warns that these images, while pleasurable, have little explanatory power, lulling us into seeing Detroit’s deterioration as either inevitable or the city’s own fault, and absolving the real agents of decline—corporate disinvestment and globalization. Beautiful Terrible Ruins helps us understand the ways that the pleasure and the horror of urban decay hold us in thrall.
When the Detroit newspaper strike was settled in December 2000, it marked the end of five years of bitter and violent dispute. No fewer than six local unions, representing 2,500 employees, struck against the Detroit News, the Detroit Free Press, and their corporate owners, charging unfair labor practices. The newspapers hired permanent replacement workers and paid millions of dollars for private security and police enforcement; the unions and their supporters took their struggle to the streets by organizing a widespread circulation and advertising boycott, conducting civil disobedience, and publishing a weekly strike newspaper. In the end, unions were forced to settle contracts on management's terms, and fired strikers received no amnesty. In The Broken Table, Chris Rhomberg sees the Detroit newspaper strike as a historic collision of two opposing forces: a system in place since the New Deal governing disputes between labor and management, and decades of increasingly aggressive corporate efforts to eliminate unions. As a consequence, one of the fundamental institutions of American labor relations—the negotiation table—has been broken, Rhomberg argues, leaving the future of the collective bargaining relationship and democratic workplace governance in question. The Broken Table uses interview and archival research to explore the historical trajectory of this breakdown, its effect on workers' economic outlook, and the possibility of restoring democratic governance to the business-labor relationship. Emerging from the New Deal, the 1935 National Labor Relations Act protected the practice of collective bargaining and workers' rights to negotiate the terms and conditions of their employment by legally recognizing union representation. This system became central to the democratic workplace, where workers and management were collective stakeholders. But efforts to erode the legal protections of the NLRA began immediately, leading to a parallel track of anti-unionism that began to gain ascendancy in the 1980s. The Broken Table shows how the tension created by these two opposing forces came to a head after a series of key labor disputes over the preceding decades culminated in the Detroit newspaper strike. Detroit union leadership charged management with unfair labor practices after employers had unilaterally limited the unions' ability to bargain over compensation and work conditions. Rhomberg argues that, in the face of management claims of absolute authority, the strike was an attempt by unions to defend workers' rights and the institution of collective bargaining, and to stem the rising tide of post-1980s anti-unionism. In an era when the incidence of strikes in the United States has been drastically reduced, the 1995 Detroit newspaper strike stands out as one of the largest and longest work stoppages in the past two decades. A riveting read full of sharp analysis, The Broken Table revisits the Detroit case in order to show the ways this strike signaled the new terrain in labor-management conflict. The book raises broader questions of workplace governance and accountability that affect us all.
Butch Queens Up in Pumpsexamines Ballroom culture, in which inner-city LGBT individuals dress, dance, and vogue to compete for prizes and trophies. Participants are affiliated with a house, an alternative family structure typically named after haute couture designers and providing support to this diverse community. Marlon M. Bailey’s rich first-person performance ethnography of the Ballroom scene in Detroit examines Ballroom as a queer cultural formation that upsets dominant notions of gender, sexuality, kinship, and community.
Originally published in 1983, The Changing Face of Inequality is the first systematic social history of a major American city undergoing industrialization. Zunz examines Detroit's evolution between 1880 and 1920 and discovers the ways in which ethnic and class relations profoundly altered its urban scene. Stunning in scope, this work makes a major contribution to our understanding of twentieth-century cities.
Is citizenship simply a legal status or does it describe a sense of belonging to a national community? For Arab Americans, these questions took on new urgency after 9/11, as the cultural prejudices that have often marginalized their community came to a head. Citizenship and Crisis reveals that, despite an ever-shifting definition of citizenship and the ease with which it can be questioned in times of national crisis, the Arab communities of metropolitan Detroit continue to thrive. A groundbreaking study of social life, religious practice, cultural values, and political views among Detroit Arabs after 9/11, Citizenship and Crisis argues that contemporary Arab American citizenship and identity have been shaped by the chronic tension between social inclusion and exclusion that has been central to this population's experience in America. According to the landmark Detroit Arab American Study, which surveyed more than 1,000 Arab Americans and is the focus of this book, Arabs express pride in being American at rates higher than the general population. In nine wide-ranging essays, the authors of Citizenship and Crisis argue that the 9/11 backlash did not substantially transform the Arab community in Detroit, nor did it alter the identities that prevail there. The city's Arabs are now receiving more mainstream institutional, educational, and political support than ever before, but they remain a constituency defined as essentially foreign. The authors explore the role of religion in cultural integration and identity formation, showing that Arab Muslims feel more alienated from the mainstream than Arab Christians do. Arab Americans adhere more strongly to traditional values than do other Detroit residents, regardless of religion. Active participants in the religious and cultural life of the Arab American community attain higher levels of education and income, yet assimilation to the American mainstream remains important for achieving enduring social and political gains. The contradictions and dangers of being Arab and American are keenly felt in Detroit, but even when Arab Americans oppose U.S. policies, they express more confidence in U.S. institutions than do non-Arabs in the general population. The Arabs of greater Detroit, whether native-born, naturalized, or permanent residents, are part of a political and historical landscape that limits how, when, and to what extent they can call themselves American. When analyzed against this complex backdrop, the results of The Detroit Arab American Study demonstrate that the pervasive notion in American society that Arabs are not like "us" is simply inaccurate. Citizenship and Crisis makes a rigorous and impassioned argument for putting to rest this exhausted cultural and political stereotype.
The richness of Detroit’s music history has by now been well established. We know all about Motown, the MC5, and Iggy and the Stooges. We also know about the important part the Motor City has played in the history of jazz. But there are stories about the music of Detroit that remain untold. One of the lesser known but nonetheless fascinating histories is contained within Detroit’s country music roots. At last, Craig Maki and Keith Cady bring to light Detroit’s most important country and western and bluegrass stars, such as Chief Redbird, the York Brothers, and Roy Hall. Beyond the individuals, Maki and Cady also map out the labels, radio programs, and performance venues that sustained Detroit’s vibrant country and bluegrass music scene. In the process, Detroit Country Music examines how and why the city’s growth in the early twentieth century, particularly the southern migration tied to the auto industry, led to this vibrant roots music scene.
This is the first book—the first resource of any kind—to tell the story of Detroit’s contributions to country music. Craig Maki and Keith Cady have spent two decades collecting music and images, and visiting veteran musicians to amass more than seventy interviews about country music in Detroit. Just as astounding as the book’s revelations are the photographs, most of which have never been published before. Detroit Country Musicwill be essential reading for music historians, record collectors, roots music fans, and Detroit music aficionados.
Over the past 25 years, award-winning ethnographer and photographer Camilo José Vergara has traveled annually to Detroit to document not only the city’s precipitous decline but also how its residents have survived. From the 1970s through the 1990s, changes in Detroit were almost all for the worse, as the fabric of the city was erased through neglect and abandonment. But over the last decade, Detroit has seen the beginnings of a positive transformation, and the photography in Detroit Is No Dry Bones provides unique documentation of the revival and its urbanistic possibilities. Beyond the fate of the city’s buildings themselves, Vergara’s camera has consistently sought to capture the distinct culture of this largely African American city. The photographs in this book, for example, are organized in part around the way people have re-used and re-purposed structures from the past. Vergara is unique in his documentation of local churches that have re-occupied old bank buildings and other impressive structures from the past and turned them into something unexpectedly powerful architecturally as well as spiritually.
Detroit: Race and Uneven Development
Joe T. Darden, Richard Child Hill, June Thomas and Richard Thomas Temple University Press, 1990 Library of Congress F574.D49N4335 1987 | Dewey Decimal 305.800977434
Hub of the American auto industry and site of the celebrated Riverfront Renaissance, Detroit is also a city of extraordinary poverty, unemployment, and racial segregation. This duality in one of the mightiest industrial metropolises of twentieth-century North America is the focus of this study. Viewing the Motor City in light of sociology, geography, history, and planning, the authors examine the genesis of modern Detroit. They argue that the current situation of metropolitan Detroit—economic decentralization, chronic racial and class segregation, regional political fragmentation—is a logical result of trends that have gradually escalated throughout the post-World War II era. Examining its recent redevelopment policies and the ensuing political conflicts, Darden, Hill, Thomas, and Thomas, discuss where Detroit has been and where it is going.
In the series Comparative American Cities, edited by Joe T. Darden.
Episodes of racial conflict in Detroit form just one facet of the city’s storied and legendary history, and they have sometimes overshadowed the less widely known but equally important occurrence of interracial cooperation in seeking solutions to the city’s problems. The conflicts also present many opportunities to analyze, learn from, and interrogate the past in order to help lay the groundwork for a stronger, more equitable future. This astute and prudent history poses a number of critical questions: Why and where have race riots occurred in Detroit? How has the racial climate changed or remained the same since the riots? What efforts have occurred since the riots to reduce racial inequality and conflicts, and to build bridges across racial divides? Unique among books on the subject, Detroit pays special attention to post-1967 social and political developments in the city, and expands upon the much-explored black-white dynamic to address the influx of more recent populations to Detroit: Middle Eastern Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans. Crucially, the book explores the role of place of residence, spatial mobility, and spatial inequality as key factors in determining access to opportunities such as housing, education, employment, and other amenities, both in the suburbs and in the city.
Detroit's Cold War locates the roots of American conservatism in a city that was a nexus of labor and industry in postwar America. Drawing on meticulous archival research focusing on Detroit, Colleen Doody shows how conflict over business values and opposition to labor, anticommunism, racial animosity, and religion led to the development of a conservative ethos in the aftermath of World War II.
Using Detroit--with its large population of African-American and Catholic immigrant workers, strong union presence, and starkly segregated urban landscape--as a case study, Doody articulates a nuanced understanding of anticommunism during the Red Scare. Looking beyond national politics, she focuses on key debates occurring at the local level among a wide variety of common citizens. In examining this city's social and political fabric, Doody illustrates that domestic anticommunism was a cohesive, multifaceted ideology that arose less from Soviet ideological incursion than from tensions within the American public.
Since the 1967 riots that ripped apart the city, Detroit has traditionally been viewed either as a place in ruins or a metropolis on the verge of rejuvenation. In Digital Detroit: Rhetoric and Space in the Age of the Network, author Jeff Rice goes beyond the notion of Detroit as simply a city of two ideas. Instead he explores the city as a web of multiple meanings which, in the digital age, come together in the city’s spaces to form a network that shapes the writing, the activity, and the very thinking of those around it.
Rice focuses his study on four of Detroit’s most iconic places—Woodward Avenue, the Maccabees Building, Michigan Central Station, and 8 Mile—covering each in a separate chapter. Each of these chapters explains one of the four features of network rhetoric: folksono(me), the affective interface, response, and decision making. As these rhetorical features connect, they form the overall network called Digital Detroit. Rice demonstrates how new media, such as podcasts, wikis, blogs, interactive maps, and the Internet in general, knit together Detroit into a digital network whose identity is fluid and ever-changing. In telling Detroit’s spatial story, Rice deftly illustrates how this new media, as a rhetorical practice, ultimately shapes understandings of space in ways that computer applications and city planning often cannot. The result is a model for a new way of thinking and interacting with space and the imagination, and for a better understanding of the challenges network rhetorics pose for writing.
It is a bedrock American belief: the 1950s were a golden age of prosperity for autoworkers. Flush with high wages and enjoying the benefits of generous union contracts, these workers became the backbone of a thriving blue-collar middle class. It is also a myth. Daniel J. Clark began by interviewing dozens of former autoworkers in the Detroit area and found a different story--one of economic insecurity caused by frequent layoffs, unrealized contract provisions, and indispensable second jobs. Disruption in Detroit is a vivid portrait of workers and an industry that experienced anything but stable prosperity. As Clark reveals, the myths--whether of rising incomes or hard-nosed union bargaining success--came later. In the 1950s, ordinary autoworkers, union leaders, and auto company executives recognized that although jobs in their industry paid high wages, they were far from steady and often impossible to find.
The 14 stories of The Dogs of Detroiteach focus on grief and its many strange permutations. This grief alternately devolves into violence, silence, solitude, and utter isolation. In some cases, grief drives the stories as a strong, reactionary force, and yet in other stories, that grief evolves quietly over long stretches of time. Many of the stories also use grief as a prism to explore the beguiling bonds within families. The stories span a variety of geographies, both urban and rural, often considering collisions between the two.
During a field trip in Detroit on a summer day in 1989, a group of African American fifth-, sixth-, and seventh-graders talked, laughed, and ate snacks as they walked. Later, in the teacher’s lounge, Jeanetta, an African American teacher chided the teachers, black and white, for not correcting poor black students for “eating on the street,” something she saw as stereotypical behavior that stigmatized students.
These thirty children from Detroit’s Cass Corridor neighborhood were enrolled in the Dewey Center Community Writing Project. Taught by seven teachers from the University of Michigan and the Detroit public schools, the program guided students to explore, to interpret, and to write about their community.
According to David Schaafsma, one of the teachers, the “eating on the street” controversy is emblematic of how cultural values and cultural differences affect education in American schools today. From this incident Schaafsma has written a powerful and compelling book about the struggle of teaching literacy in a racially divided society and the importance of story and storytelling in the educational process.
At the core of this book is the idea of storytelling as an interactive experience for both the teller and listener. Schaafsma begins by telling his own version of the “eating on the street” conflict. He describes the history of the writing program and offers rich samples of the students’ writing about their lives in a troubled neighborhood. After the summer program, Schaafsma interviewed all the teachers about their own version of events, their personal histories, and their work as educators. Eating on the Street presents all of these layered stories - by Schaafsma, his collegues, and the students - to illustrate how talking across multiple perspectives can enrich the learning process and the community-building process outside the classroom as well.
These accounts have strong implications for multicultural education today. They will interest teachers, educational experts, administrators, and researchers. Uniting theory and practice, <I>Eating on the Street</I> is on the cutting edge of pioneering work in educational research.
“The dynamics of Black Theology were at the center of the ‘Long New Negro Renaissance,’ triggered by mass migrations to industrial hubs like Detroit. Finally, this crucial subject has found its match in the brilliant scholarship of Angela Dillard. No one has done a better job of tracing those religious roots through the civil rights–black power era than Professor Dillard.”
—Komozi Woodard, Professor of History, Public Policy & Africana Studies at Sarah Lawrence College and author of A Nation within a Nation: Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones) and Black Power Politics
“Angela Dillard recovers the long-submerged links between the black religious and political lefts in postwar Detroit. . . . Faith in the City is an essential contribution to the growing literature on the struggle for racial equality in the North.”
—Thomas J. Sugrue, University of Pennsylvania, author of The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit
Spanning more than three decades and organized around the biographies of Reverends Charles A. Hill and Albert B. Cleage Jr., Faith in the City is a major new exploration of how the worlds of politics and faith merged for many of Detroit’s African Americans—a convergence that provided the community with a powerful new voice and identity. While other religions have mixed politics and creed, Faith in the City shows how this fusion was and continues to be particularly vital to African American clergy and the Black freedom struggle.
Activists in cities such as Detroit sustained a record of progressive politics over the course of three decades. Angela Dillard reveals this generational link and describes what the activism of the 1960s owed to that of the 1930s. The labor movement, for example, provided Detroit’s Black activists, both inside and outside the unions, with organizational power and experience virtually unmatched by any other African American urban community.
Angela D. Dillard is Associate Professor of Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan. She specializes in American and African American intellectual history, religious studies, critical race theory, and the history of political ideologies and social movements in the United States.
Even before the massive European immigrations of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Detroit had a tradition of Catholicism. Multiple immigrant groups became part of the city and considered it important to educate their daughters as well as their sons within the Church.
JoEllen McNergney Vinyard's comprehensive examination of parochial education in Detroit within the broader context of that city's urbanization patterns yields a richly detailed addition to our understanding of the European immigrant experience.
For Faith and Fortune will be of interest to historians and scholars of urban studies, particularly immigration, schooling, and the Catholic experience.
". . . a great blow-by-blow account of an exciting and still-legendary scene."
From the early days of John Lee Hooker to the heyday of Motown and beyond, Detroit has enjoyed a long reputation as one of the crucibles of American pop music. In Grit, Noise, and Revolution, David Carson turns the spotlight on those hard-rocking, long-haired musicians-influenced by Detroit's R&B heritage-who ultimately helped change the face of rock 'n' roll.
Carson tells the story of some of the great garage-inspired, blue-collar Motor City rock 'n' roll bands that exemplified the Detroit rock sound: The MC5, Iggy Pop and the Stooges, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, SRC, the Bob Seger System, Ted Nugent and the Amboy Dukes, and Grand Funk Railroad.
An indispensable guide for rock aficionados, Grit, Noise, and Revolution features stories of these groundbreaking groups and is the first book to survey Detroit music of the 1960s and 70s-a pivotal era in rock music history.
Jazz from Detroit
Mark Stryker University of Michigan Press, 2019 Library of Congress ML3508.8.D4S87 2019 | Dewey Decimal 781.650977434
Jazz from Detroit explores the city’s pivotal role in shaping the course of modern and contemporary jazz. With more than two dozen in-depth profiles of remarkable Detroit-bred musicians, complemented by a generous selection of photographs, Mark Stryker makes Detroit jazz come alive as he draws out significant connections between the players, eras, styles, and Detroit’s distinctive history.
Stryker’s story starts in the 1940s and ’50s, when the auto industry created a thriving black working and middle class in Detroit that supported a vibrant nightlife, and exceptional public school music programs and mentors in the community like pianist Barry Harris transformed the city into a jazz juggernaut. This golden age nurtured many legendary musicians—Hank, Thad, and Elvin Jones, Gerald Wilson, Milt Jackson, Yusef Lateef, Donald Byrd, Tommy Flanagan, Kenny Burrell, Ron Carter, Joe Henderson, and others. As the city’s fortunes change, Stryker turns his spotlight toward often overlooked but prescient musician-run cooperatives and self-determination groups of the 1960s and ’70s, such as the Strata Corporation and Tribe. In more recent decades, the city’s culture of mentorship, embodied by trumpeter and teacher Marcus Belgrave, ensured that Detroit continued to incubate world-class talent; Belgrave protégés like Geri Allen, Kenny Garrett, Robert Hurst, Regina Carter, Gerald Cleaver, and Karriem Riggins helped define contemporary jazz. The resilience of Detroit’s jazz tradition provides a powerful symbol of the city’s lasting cultural influence.
Stryker’s 21 years as an arts reporter and critic at the Detroit Free Press are evident in his vivid storytelling and insightful criticism. Jazz from Detroit will appeal to jazz aficionados, casual fans, and anyone interested in the vibrant and complex history of cultural life in Detroit.
In an American society both increasingly diverse and increasingly segregated, the signals children receive about race are more confusing than ever. In this context, how do children negotiate and make meaning of multiple and conflicting messages to develop their own ideas about race? Learning Race, Learning Place engages this question using in-depth interviews with an economically diverse group of African American children and their mothers.
Through these rich narratives, Erin N. Winkler seeks to reorient the way we look at how children develop their ideas about race through the introduction of a new framework—comprehensive racial learning—that shows the importance of considering this process from children’s points of view and listening to their interpretations of their experiences, which are often quite different from what the adults around them expect or intend. At the children’s prompting, Winkler examines the roles of multiple actors and influences, including gender, skin tone, colorblind rhetoric, peers, family, media, school, and, especially, place. She brings to the fore the complex and understudied power of place, positing that while children’s racial identities and experiences are shaped by a national construction of race, they are also specific to a particular place that exerts both direct and indirect influence on their racial identities and ideas.
"Grace Lee Boggs has made a fundamental difference in keeping alive the traditions of the struggles for freedom and democracy." Cornel West
"More than a deeply moving memoir, this is a book of revelation. Grace Lee Boggs, Chinese American, middle class, highly educated, discovers through her encounters with remarkable rebels, blue collars as well as philosophers, where the body is buried: who is doing what to whom in our society. It is an adventure that is truly liberating." Studs Terkel
"It seems to me that the life of Grace Lee Boggs has been an exercise of will. Through sheer will, without waiting for social conditions to come around and without waiting to explore her identity, she turned her back on who she was and barged into new territories. She was a woman who barged into men's territory; she was a Chinese who barged into black territory; she was an intellectual who barged into workers territory." from a letter from Louis Tsen
"Throught these pages walk causes, gatherings, confrontations, movements, and the men and women who made them: workers, and students, and committees of the People; Christians, Black Muslims, Black Panthers, Labor Unions; C.L.R. James. Rev. Cleage, Rev. Cleveland, Coleman Young, Malcolm and Martin; artists, musicians, poets, actors, strikers, and seekers of revolution." from the foreword by Ossie Davis
Living for Change is a sweeping account of the life of an untraditional radical from the end of the thirties, through the cold war, the civil rights era, and the rise of Black Power, the Nation of Islam, and the Black Panthers to the present efforts to rebuild our crumbling urban communities. This fascinating autobiography traces the story of a woman who transcended class and racial boundaries to pursue her passionate belief in a better society.
Grace Lee Boggs was raised in New York City during a time when her father was not allowed to buy land for their home because he was Chinese. Educated at Barnard and Bryn Mawr, Boggs was in her twenties when radical politics beckoned, and she was inspired to become a revolutionary focusing on the black community.
During her early years as an activist in New York, Boggs began a twenty-year friendship and collaboration with C. L. R. James, the brilliant and influential West Indian Marxist to whom she devotes a revelatory chapter of this book. In 1953, she moved to Detroit where, she writes, "radical history had been made and could be made again." It was also the home of James Boggs, an African American auto worker (and later author and revolutionary theoretician) who would become one of the movement's freshest and most persuasive voices, as well as Grace's husband. Beginning with their work together on the newsletter Correspondence, Grace and James formed the core of a network that over the years would include Malcolm X, Lyman Paine, Ping Ferry, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, Kwame Nkrumah, Stokely Carmichael, and inner-city youth.
Rich in the personalities and anecdotes of twentieth-century progressive activism, Living for Change is an involving and inspiring look at a remarkable woman who continues to dedicate her life to social justice.
Grace Lee Boggs is a first-generation Chinese American who has been a speaker, writer, and movement activist in the African American community for fifty-five years.
Religion has played a protean role in the lives of America's workers. In this innovative volume, Matthew Pehl focuses on Detroit to examine the religious consciousness constructed by the city's working-class Catholics, African American Protestants, and southern-born white evangelicals and Pentecostals between 1910 and 1969. Pehl embarks on an integrative view of working-class faith that ranges across boundaries of class, race, denomination, and time. As he shows, workers in the 1910s and 1920s practiced beliefs characterized by emotional expressiveness, alliance with supernatural forces, and incorporation of mass culture's secular diversions into the sacred. That gave way to the more pragmatic class-conscious religion cultures of the New Deal era and, from the late Thirties on, a quilt of secular working-class cultures that coexisted in competitive, though creative, tension. Finally, Pehl shows how the ideology of race eclipsed class in the 1950s and 1960s, and in so doing replaced the class-conscious with the race-conscious in religious cultures throughout the city.
In this provocative and accessible urban history, Lila Corwin Berman considers the role that Detroit’s Jews played in the city’s well-known narrative of migration and decline. Taking its cue from social critics and historians who have long looked toward Detroit to understand twentieth-century urban transformations, Metropolitan Jews tells the story of Jews leaving the city while retaining a deep connection to it. Berman argues convincingly that though most Jews moved to the suburbs, urban abandonment, disinvestment, and an embrace of conservatism did not invariably accompany their moves. Instead, the Jewish postwar migration was marked by an enduring commitment to a newly fashioned urbanism with a vision of self, community, and society that persisted well beyond city limits.
Complex and subtle, Metropolitan Jews pushes urban scholarship beyond the tenacious black/white, urban/suburban dichotomy. It demands a more nuanced understanding of the process and politics of suburbanization and will reframe how we think about the American urban experiment and modern Jewish history.
Motor City Green is a history of green spaces in metropolitan Detroit from the late nineteenth- to early twenty-first century. The book focuses primarily on the history of gardens and parks in the city of Detroit and its suburbs in southeast Michigan. Cialdella argues Detroit residents used green space to address problems created by the city’s industrial rise and decline, and racial segregation and economic inequality. As the city’s social landscape became increasingly uncontrollable, Detroiters turned to parks, gardens, yards, and other outdoor spaces to relieve the negative social and environmental consequences of industrial capitalism. Motor City Green looks to the past to demonstrate how today’s urban gardens in Detroit evolved from, but are also distinct from, other urban gardens and green spaces in the city’s past.
In Now Is the Time! Todd C. Shaw delves into the political strategies of post–Civil Rights Movement African American activists in Detroit, Michigan, to discover the conditions for effective social activism. Analyzing a wide range of grassroots community-housing initiatives intended to revitalize Detroit’s failing urban center and aid its impoverished population, he investigates why certain collective actions have far-reaching effects while others fail to yield positive results. What emerges is EBAM (Effective Black Activism Model), Shaw’s detailed political model that illuminates crucial elements of successful grassroots activism, such as strong alliances, strategic advantages, and adaptive techniques.
Shaw uses the tools of social movement analysis, including the quantitative analysis of budgets, electoral data, and housing statistics, as well as historical research and personal interviews, to better understand the dilemmas, innovations, and dynamics of grassroots activism. He begins with a history of discriminatory housing practices and racial divisions that deeply affected Detroit following the Second World War and set the stage for the election of the city’s first black mayor, Coleman Young. By emphasizing downtown redevelopment, Mayor Young’s administration often collided with low-income housing advocates. Only through grassroots activism were those advocates able to delay or derail governmental efforts to demolish low-income housing in order to make way for more upscale development. Shaw then looks at present-day public housing activism, assessing the mixed success of the nationally sponsored HOPE VI project aimed at fostering home ownership in low-income areas. Descriptive and prescriptive, Now Is the Time! traces the complicated legacy of community activism to illuminate what is required for grassroots activists to be effective in demanding public accountability to poor and marginalized citizens.
Jim Daniels University of Wisconsin Press, 1985 Library of Congress PS3554.A5635P5 1985 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Jim Daniels, in his first book of poems, draws upon his experiences in living and working in his native Detroit to present a start, realistic picture of urban, blue-collar life. Daniels, his brothers, his father, and his grandfather have all worked in the auto industry, and that background seeps into nearly all these poems.
The first of the book’s three sections sketches out this background, then moves into a neighborhood full of people whose lives are so linked to the ups and downs of the auto industry that they have to struggle to find their own lives; in "Still Lives in Detroit, #2," Daniels writes, "There’s a man in this picture. / No one can find him." The second section contains the "Digger" poems, a series on the lives of a Detroit auto worker and his family which tries to capture the effects of the work on life outside the factory. Here, we listen to Digger think, dream, wander on psychological journeys while he moves through his routines, shoveling the snow, mowing the lawn, and so forth. In section three, the poems move into the workplace, whether that be a liquor store, a hamburger joint, or a factory.
These poems, sometimes dark, sometimes humorous, concentrate on the efforts of workers to rise above the often depressing work of blue-collar or minimum-wage jobs, to salvage some pride and dignity. The poems in this book try to give a voice to those who are often shut out of poetry. They are important. These lives are important, and the poems, more than anything, say that.
Poletown: COMMUNITY BETRAYED
Jeanie Wylie University of Illinois Press, 1989 Library of Congress HD9710.U54G4758 1989 | Dewey Decimal 323.46
More than 4,200 residents of Detroit's "Poletown" community lost their homes in the 1980s when the neighborhood was razed to accommodate construction of a Cadillac plant on land where generations of Polish immigrants had lived, worked, and worshipped. Poletown is the story of the only group in Detroit to oppose the construction plan: the Poles and blacks who fought side by side to save their neighborhood, one of the city's oldest integrated communities.
"This book is about the ramifications of raw corporate power going unchecked." -- John Conyers, Michigan congressman
"Racial class is a fundamental problem in America. But Poletown demonstrates that economic class is even more fundamental." -- Rev. Jesse Jackson
Detroit's public school system, lauded as a model for the nation in the 1920s and 1930s, has become one of the city's most conspicuous failures. Jeffrey Mirel draws on Detroit's experience to offer a new interpretation of urban educational decline in the twentieth century, suggesting specific answers to what ails America's public schools and how public education can be improved.
Jeffrey Mirel has won two prestigious book awards for The Rise and Fall of an Urban School System. Stanford University and the American Educational Research Association awarded the book the 1994-95 "Outstanding Book Award" stating, "Mirel's documentation and interpretations serve as valuable and refreshing commentary on the current status of urban education, and by extension, all American education and society. . . . The book is admirably written with touches of drama, pathos, and hope." The American Educational Studies Association awarded Mirel the 1994 "Critics' Choice Award" for his outstanding contribution to Educational Studies.
This new paperback edition includes a comprehensive epilogue focusing on recent events in Detroit educational reform. Detailing the formation and rapid collapse of a campaign in the late 1980s and early 1990s to radically restructure the Detroit public schools, Mirel's new analysis of this experiment illuminates both the persistence of historical trends in the school district and the possibilities for change.
Jeffrey Mirel is David L Angus Collegiate Professor of Education, University of Michigan.
In Shapeshifters Aimee Meredith Cox explores how young Black women in a Detroit homeless shelter contest stereotypes, critique their status as partial citizens, and negotiate poverty, racism, and gender violence to create and imagine lives for themselves. Based on eight years of fieldwork at the Fresh Start shelter, Cox shows how the shelter's residents—who range in age from fifteen to twenty-two—employ strategic methods she characterizes as choreography to disrupt the social hierarchies and prescriptive narratives that work to marginalize them. Among these are dance and poetry, which residents learn in shelter workshops. These outlets for performance and self-expression, Cox shows, are key to the residents exercising their agency, while their creation of alternative family structures demands a rethinking of notions of care, protection, and love. Cox also uses these young women's experiences to tell larger stories: of Detroit's history, the Great Migration, deindustrialization, the politics of respectability, and the construction of Black girls and women as social problems. With Shapeshifters Cox gives a voice to young Black women who find creative and non-normative solutions to the problems that come with being young, Black, and female in America.
Judith Stepan-Norris and Maurice Zeitlin University of Illinois Press, 1996 Library of Congress HD6475.A2I787 1996 | Dewey Decimal 331.881292097743
As an institutional, political,
and cultural oral history of the struggle to unionize the River Rouge
Plant near Detroit during the 1930s and 40s, this book affords us a rare
insight into the difficulties of organizing a union in the face of the
then anti-union Ford Motor Company. Against a backdrop of the depression
and entrenched racism, history was made by courageous individuals whose
rich, eloquent stories illuminate the character and views of others like
them across the nation, from all backgrounds: left, right, and center;
black and white; native and foreign born, Jew and gentile.
Streetcars played an especially important role in society around the turn of the twentieth century in Detroit, in part because of the downtown hub-and-spoke design of its main streets. During this period the streetcar was the main mode of transportation for the average citizen, as horse-drawn carriages and automobiles were not found outside of the upper class. Control over streetcar franchises was highly coveted—this control was simultaneous with having power over how and where people were transported throughout the city, making it an incredible political tool. The Thirty-Year War was a battle waged between 1892 and 1922 by the City of Detroit against the politically powerful and deeply entrenched corporations that owned streetcar franchises for control of the city’s streetway system. This compelling history shows how and why the owners of monopoly franchises of great public utilities such as bridges, street railways, electricity, natural gas, and cable television will protect and defend their privilege against public ownership or control, and is an example of how one city successfully fought back.
Three Bullets Sealed His Lips
Bruce A. Rubenstein Michigan State University Press, 1987 Library of Congress KF224.A33R8 1987 | Dewey Decimal 345.7302523
The gangland style slaying if State Senator Warren G. Hooper on January 11, 1945, three days before he was to testify before a grand jury investigating alleged corruption in the Michigan legislature, forced coverage of Allied war triumphs from the state's newspaper headlines. National media representatives flocked to Michigan to join local reporters in following the efforts of grand jury special prosecutor Kim Sigler and the State Police to apprehend the killers. Because no arrests ever were made, a 1951 journalistic prediction has proven true: "The Hooper case will continue to come back to remind the people and politicians of Michigan of the black days of 1945 when almost every official of the state had his price." For this reason, the Hooper murder has endured as one of the most intriguing unsolved mysteries in the annals of Michigan crime.
Utilizing interviews, trial transcripts, State police files, and a collection of grand jury testimony long thought to have been destroyed, Professors Bruce A. Rubenstein and Lawrence E. Ziewacz set forth the reason for Hooper's assassination. Written in a lively style, using dialogue taken from court records and correspondence, Three Bullets Sealed His Lips demonstrates that historical writing need not be dull.
Kesho Scott University of Iowa Press, 1999 Library of Congress PS3569.C645T54 1999 | Dewey Decimal 813.0108928709
This expanded edition of Tight Spaces includes six new essays that explore the fulfilling spaces inhabited by Kesho Scott, Cherry Muhanji, and Egyirba High since their book was originally published in 1987. Tight Spaces won the American Book Award in 1988.
Gordon Castelnero University of Michigan Press, 2006 Library of Congress PN1992.3.U5C298 2006 | Dewey Decimal 384.550977434
An in-depth and personal look at the most popular and best-remembered local shows from the golden years of Detroit TV
Long before cable, prepackaged syndication, infomercials, do-it-yourselfers, and reality shows cluttered the television dial, there was a brand of entertainment that has today nearly vanished from the airwaves: local TV. And with its colorful and quirky cast of characters, Detroit TV arguably offered some of the best of the best of local programming anywhere in the nation-a smorgasbord of exuberant, one-of-a-kind television shows.
Based on actual interviews with the people who made Detroit TV, Gordon Castelnero's TV Land-Detroit awakens the emotional attachment and nostalgia our community has for these shows, bringing the beloved characters and memorable programs back to life.
From the glamorous Rita Bell to the insanity of the Ghoul, the zany Jingles in Boofland to the opinionated and often confrontational Lou Gordon and the gruff-voiced and somnolent George Pierrot, Castelnero reacquaints us with the talent and behind-the-scenes people, of the creative spirit in Detroit, and the intimacy they shared with the community both on and off the air.
Gordon Castelnero was a producer at WNIC radio for four years. He produced the acclaimed documentaries for WDIV and WTVS, Michigan, It Started Here! Michigan and the American Dream, and Titanic: The Final Chapter. He currently lives in Livonia, Michigan, and works at Technicolor in DVD and game media distribution. He can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Intense attention has been paid to Detroit as a site of urban crisis. This crisis, however, has not only yielded the massive devaluation of real estate that has so often been noted; it has also yielded an explosive production of seemingly valueless urban property that has facilitated the imagination and practice of alternative urbanisms. The first sustained study of Detroit’s alternative urban cultures, The Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit initiates a new focus on Detroit as a site not only of urban crisis but also of urban possibility.
The Guide documents art and curatorial practices, community and guerilla gardens, urban farming and forestry, cultural platforms, living archives, evangelical missions, temporary public spaces, intentional communities, furtive monuments, outsider architecture, and other work made possible by the ready availability of urban space in Detroit. The Guide poses these spaces as “unreal estate”: urban territory that has slipped through the free- market economy and entered other regimes of value, other contexts of meaning, and other systems of use. The appropriation of this territory in Detroit, the Guide suggests, offers new perspectives on what a city is and can be, especially in a time of urban crisis.
On July 23, 1967, the Detroit police raided a blind pig (after-hours drinking establishment), touching off the most destructive urban riot of the 1960s. It took the U.S. Army, the Michigan National Guard, the Michigan State Police, and the Detroit police department—17,000 men—more than a week to restore order. When all was done, the riot had claimed 43 lives (mostly Black) and resulted in nearly 700 injuries. Over 7,000 individuals were arrested, with property damage estimates over $75 million. Yet, Detroit had been lauded nationally as a "model city" in the governance of a large industrial metropolis. On the 40th anniversary of this nation-changing event, we are pleased to reissue Sidney Fine's seminal work—a detailed study of what happened, why, and with what consequences.
During World War II, factories across America retooled for wartime production, and unprecedented labor opportunities opened up for women and minorities. In We, Too, Are Americans, Megan Taylor Shockley examines the experiences of the African American women who worked in two capitols of industry--Detroit, Michigan, and Richmond, Virginia--during the war and the decade that followed it, making a compelling case for viewing World War II as the crucible of the civil rights movement.
As demands on them intensified, the women working to provide American troops with clothing, medical supplies, and other services became increasingly aware of their key role in the war effort. A considerable number of the African Americans among them began to use their indispensability to leverage demands for equal employment, welfare and citizenship benefits, fair treatment, good working conditions, and other considerations previously denied them.
Shockley shows that as these women strove to redefine citizenship, backing up their claims to equality with lawsuits, sit-ins, and other forms of activism, they were forging tools that civil rights activists would continue to use in the years to come.