Black Detroit: A People's History of Self- Determination

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Learn the expressions of evolving culture, politics, economics, and spiritual life of Detroit—a blend of memoir, love letter, history, and clear-eyed reportage that explores the city’s past, present, and future and its significance to the African-American legacy and the nation’s fabric.

Herb Boyd moved to Detroit in 1943, as race riots were engulfing the city. Though he did not grasp their full significance at the time, this critical moment would be one of many he witnessed that would mold his political activism and expose a city restless for change. In Black Detroit, he reflects on his life and this landmark place, in a search to better understand why Detroit is a special place for black people. Boyd reveals how Black Detroiters were prominent in the city’s historic, groundbreaking union movement and—when given an opportunity—were among the tireless workers who made the automobile industry the center of American industry. Compensating wages from assembly jobs, which allowed working class Black Detroiters to ascend to the middle class and achieve financial stability, an accomplishment not often attainable in other industries.

Boyd brings into focus the major figures who have defined and shaped Detroit, including William Lambert (abolitionist), Berry Gordy (founder of Motown), Coleman Young (the city’s first black mayor), diva songstress Aretha Franklin, Malcolm X, and Ralphe Bunche (Nobel Peace Prize winner).

• Hardcover
• 416 pages
• 6.25w x 9.25h x 1.5d


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