November 17, 2013

CITIES ARE PLACES TO VISIT, NOT LIVE IN:

Will downtown Detroit be a white enclave? (NOLAN FINLEY, 11/17/13, Detroit News)

Downtown seems immune to Detroit's broken finances. It's booming thanks to private investments and its sudden emergence as a cool city for young people to live and work in.

Private dollars take care of everything from street clean-up to security within the downtown and Midtown zones.

It's a different story in the neighborhoods, where the city's inability to fund basic services is evident on nearly every block.

Something else is bubbling, too. A lot of nights you can stand in downtown Detroit and think you were in Minneapolis instead of at the core of the blackest city in America.

With a few exceptions, the new hip hotspots have an overwhelmingly white clientele. Often, the downtown crowd is an almost exact reversal of the city's 80 percent black, 20 percent white and others racial makeup.

I talked with several downtown denizens over the past few weeks, and all seem to have noticed the same thing, but they can't say for sure why it's happening. Most say diversity is one of the things that draws them to Detroit.

A few offered that its a natural reflection of the influx of new downtown residents and workers, who are predominately white.

But there are still more than 600,000 African-Americans living in the city. And yet you can often find more diversity in the bars and restaurants of Birmingham than in the ones downtown.

It's long past time to move black families to suburbia where life, and schools, are decent.

Posted by at November 17, 2013 6:20 PM
  

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