Detroit Doesn’t Need Hipsters To Survive, It Needs Black People

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Last month, Thomas Sugrue, the scholar who literally wrote the book on Detroit, traveled to the Motor City to deliver a tough message to business and political leaders. Detroit’s comeback, he said, depends on whether the city can improve the lives of working-class African-Americans.

“Revitalization” is a buzzword in the city, which filed for bankruptcy last year and grapples with widespread blight and high unemployment and poverty rates. In spite of all this, Detroit is often celebrated as a hipster paradise and tourist destination by national media outlets.

But Sugrue said Detroit’s recent successes in its downtown area and in Midtown, the city’s cultural center, aren’t benefiting the majority of residents.

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