Black Businesses Resuscitating Detroit’s Resurgence

The Detroit skyline. (Photo: Google Images)

The Detroit skyline.
(Photo: Google Images)

Kate Abbey-Lambertz of the Huffington Post is reporting that black owned businesses are quietly helping Detroit’s economic recovery, but getting little to no credit in the dominant narrative of the resurgence of the city, which is being led by entrepreneurs. Abbey-Lambertz writes:

“Stories that claim entrepreneurs are building, revitalizing and even saving Detroit focus primarily on white professionals, often younger and new transplants to the city, a trend that’s palpable and frustrating for locals. When journalists and readers criticized the Times for leaving blacks out of its Corktown story, the paper’s public editor addressed the lack of diversity in a follow-up, and the writer said she regretted not including a black-owned business. (A more recent Times story takes a wider-ranging view.)

It’s not difficult to find a black business owner to speak with, though. There are more than 32,000 in the city, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures from 2007. Many, particularly those who have kept their businesses going on shoestring budgets, feel excluded from conversations about Detroit’s revival and overlooked when it comes to getting access to funds and resources.

“I think, for the most part, black-owned businesses are not getting a piece of the pie,” bookstore owner Janet Jones told The Huffington Post. “What about people who have been doing the hard work of living and working and having business in Detroit for the last 20 years?”

Despite difficulties, many business owners have had their doors open for decades, something local developer George Stewart, 77, traces back to historical segregation that had white business owners refusing service to black customers.”

The article also profiles black entrepreneurs in Detroit helping to bring back Motor City.

Read more at Huffington Post.

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