History is the most crucial context of any city. In thinking about the “lifecourse of place,” or the evolution of a particular geography over time, socio-demographics provide deep insight.
Detroit’s Black community was restricted in where they could legally purchase housing, so there had long been a concentration of Black households in the Paradise Valley area, north of Black Bottom.
Overlaying the current 7.2 square mile boundary onto this map of 1940s non-white households give stark contrast between history and current redevelopment.
Map originally presented by Josh Akers’ in a Book Review of Rebecca Kinney’s book, “Beautiful Wasteland: The Rise of Detroit as America’s Postindustrial Frontier.”