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Detroit Is 80% Black But Black Businesses Are Excluded From The City’s Renaissance

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“There are more than 150 Black developers in the city – none have been given the opportunity to develop a mega-project downtown.” That’s according to Alisha M. Moss, Founder of the Detroit Chapter of the Real Estate Association of Developers. Detroit is experiencing a resurgence, a renaissance that seemingly doesn’t notice roughly 80 percent of the city’s population — Black folks. If 80 percent of a city’s population can be an afterthought, Black people everywhere should pay very close attention and learn to rely on no one else.

View of abandoned downtown of Detroit, Michigan

DBusiness recently reported shocking results from a new survey of Detroit’s 100 leading Black business owners. Nearly 80 percent feel “left out of the current economic boom and aren’t getting a fair shot at public- or private-sector development opportunities.” The survey is titled The Black Business Owner Economic Confidence survey, which asked local business owners from various industries how they feel about market opportunities and contracting in commercial development and purchasing in Detroit. The survey was done by the Detroit Coalition for Economic Inclusion (DCEI), which is an initiative of the National Business League Inc. The survey should be a wakeup call — according to the most recent American Community Survey, Detroit’s population is 79 percent Black and still, Black people are outsiders in their local economy.

Skyline of downtown Detroit from Windsor, Ontario

There is no incentive for people who are not Black in Detroit to care about the health and vibrancy of Black businesses, at least on the surface. Inequities have existed in Detroit for a very long time along racial lines and it is doubtful that the roots of racism will be plucked out anytime soon. If conditions in Detroit are to change, it will be because Black people — who are the majority — decide that they will change them. Conditions in Detroit for Black business owners will change because Black people — who are the majority — will decide to spend every dime they can, in their own community. Conditions in Detroit will change only when Black people refuse to vote for any politician who will not seriously commit to overhauling the city’s procurement practices, to ensure Black owned companies get a percent of the city’s contracting dollars that more closely mirrors the percentage of the Black population of the city.

This article isn’t about Detroit. This article is about Chicago, New York, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark, New Orleans, Baltimore and any other place you can think of, where Black people happen to be concentrated. Even when a city happens to have a Black majority, it doesn’t ensure the health of Black owned businesses. Only Black consumers and voters have the power to do that and it’s time that they do — in Detroit and every other place you can think of.

Detroit, Michigan, United States – October 18 2018: View of the abandoned Gray Iron Factory in Detroit. Detroit Gray Iron Foundry was one of several foundry companies located along the water front, producing tools, machinery, jig and fixture castings. Photo taken in Detroit.

About Post Author

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D'Juan Hopewell
D'Juan Hopewell
I care about Black Power. Period. Currently working on creating jobs and funding new startups on the South Side of Chicago and writing here and there at HopewellThought.com. Follow me @HopewellThought.
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