The article talks about when the media focuses on the revitalization of Detroit, they often focus on white professionals, even though Detroit is 83 percent black. For example, a few weeks ago before the article was written, there was a NY Times articles about the revitalization of Corktown in Detroit. The article talked very positively about the revitalization of Detroit, but it failed to mention anything about black professionals or black-owned businesses. Black-owned businesses are the heart of Detroit, and during the past 20 years, even through the highs and lows, black-owned businesses have always been around to benefit the community.
I definitely agree with the article. One quote that stood out to me was from George N’Namdim, who is the owner of N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art. N’Namdi stated that “People can move [to Detroit] because of the inexpensive real estate, but they stay because of the soul.” When the media talk about the revitalization in Detroit, they often focus on Downtown Detroit Partnership and Dan Gilbert. Downtown Detroit is very flashy, but it’s not representative of the way that Detroit has been rebuilding itself.
On my second day of work, I attended a city council meeting. One person that really stood out during the meeting was Mary Sheffield, who is the council member of District 5. What stood out about her was how passionate and dedicated she was to helping Detroiters. There was a discussion about affordable housing. Even though I didn’t follow everything that was being said, it was clear that councilwoman Sheffield was one hundred percent dedicated to helping Detroiters get affordable housing. She spoke with so much authenticity and conviction, and I was transfixed every time she spoke.
Overall, from my experience in Detroit, it has been the African-American community that has powered the revitalization of Detroit. Detroiters, like Councilwoman Sheffield, who are truly passionate about the city. Detroiters who proudly proceed through Campus Martius park after their high school graduation. It’s the people and their businesses, not the flashy buildings, that help make the city.
Article link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/17/detroit-black-owned-businesses-_n_5587466.html
Hitsville U.S.A: home to Motown and one of the most successful African-American businesses