The History and Future of Black Spaces in Detroit


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In the first half of the 20th century, Detroit’s African American population was booming. The Black Bottom and Paradise Valley neighborhoods became centers of Black life and culture. But they were destroyed during the 1950s and 60s to make way for highways. On today’s episode, we’ll talk about the history of those lost neighborhoods and about what it looks like now to create spaces that welcome and include Black Detroiters.


Lauren Hood is an urban planner and leading thinker in AfroUrbanist design.

PG Watkins is the founder and director of the Black Bottom Archives, which preserves the memories of Detroit’s Black Bottom neighborhood.

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