The dramatic story of racial attitudes and political strategies that set the stage for the historic riot of 1943
Race Relations in Wartime Detroit
The Sojourner Truth Housing Controversy, 1937-1942
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Dominic J. Capeci, Jr.
"Detroit is a wonderfully thorough compendium of urban inequality. It should quickly establish itself as the definitive study for Detroit-area planners and policy makers. For teachers and students in the Detroit metropolitan region, this book will prove invaluable as a reference text. The quantitative data are presented with minimal, but appropriate, statistical analysis, helpful maps, and well-organized tables. The case studies of struggle for school and housing integration make up some of the most readable sections of the book and power structure research methods are sure to shed new light on such development projects as the Renaissance Center."
As the nation shifted from the Depression to the second world war, federal involvement in urban affairs was increasing, war service was raising black expectation, and the city of Detroit was at a turning point in its socioeconomic and political development. A controversy over a defense housing tract built for black workers and named for the black abolitionist Sojourner Truth brought into focus the conflict and complex interacting between the races, the white immigrant workers, and the local and federal government. The dramatic story of racial attitudes and political strategies during this five-year period sets the stage for the historic riot of 1943.
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"The book offers fine treatments of the rise of black political power, of the efforts to rejuvenate downtown and the waterfront, and of the debt of the city in efforts to acquire new industrial and service-oriented development.... Overall, Detroit ably achieves the goals of the series. The perspective is truly interdisciplinary, reflecting the authors' backgrounds. It is a thoroughly enjoyable geography, in the best sense of the word, of the Detroit metropolitan region."
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List of Maps, Figures, and Tables
Preface: Angles of Vision
1. Detroit: An Overview
2. Uneven Development in Metropolitan Detroit
The Motor City
One Detroit, Two Detroits, Many Detroits
Coming Full Circle: Renaissance on the Riverfront
3. Patterns of Race and Class Disparity
Patterns of Race
Racial Disparity in Social and Economic Life
The Pattern of Race within Detroit, 1940-1980
The Spatial Distribution of Blacks and Housing Costs, 1960-1980
The Consequences of Racial Segregation
Differential Patterns of Racial Mobility in the Suburbs
Patterns of Class
4. Interracial Conflict and Cooperation: Housing as a Case Study
The Emerging Conflict
Building Barricades vs. Welcoming the Strangers
Building an Interracial Movement for Fair Housing
Suburban Resistance to HUD
Maintaining the Struggle and the Dream
5. City Redevelopment Policies
The Detroit Plan and the Problem of Slums
Slum Clearance through Urban Renewal
Balancing Redevelopment Resources
6. Politics and Policy in Metropolitan Detroit
Black Political Power in Detroit
Metropolitan School Desegregation: A Policy Issue
Toward Metropolitan Cooperation
7. What Future for Detroit?
Patterns of Race and Class
Interracial Conflict and Cooperation
Guideposts for the Future
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About the Author(s)
Dominic J. Capeci, Jr. is Professor of History at Southwest Missouri State University and is the author of The Harlem Riot of 1943.
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