Detroit is a devastatingly poor, mostly black, increasingly abandoned island in the midst of a sea of comparative affluence that’s mostly white. Its suburbs are among the richest in the nation. Oakland County, for example, is the fourth wealthiest county in the United States, of counties with a million or more residents. Greater Detroit—which includes the suburbs—is among the nation’s top five financial centers, the top four centers of high-technology employment, and the second-biggest source of engineering and architectural talent. Not everyone is wealthy, to be sure, but the median household in the region earns close to $50,000 a year, and unemployment is no higher than the nation’s average. The median household in Birmingham, Michigan, just across the border that delineates the city of Detroit, earned more than $94,000 last year; in nearby Bloomfield Hills—still within the Detroit metropolitan area—the median was more than $150,000.

The median household income within the city of Detroit is around $26,000, and unemployment is staggeringly high. One out of 3 residents is in poverty; more than half of all children in the city are impoverished. Between 2000 and 2010, Detroit lost a quarter of its population as the middle-class and whites fled to the suburbs. That left it with depressed property values, abandoned neighborhoods, empty buildings, lousy schools, high crime, and a dramatically-shrinking tax base. More than half of its parks have closed in the last five years. Forty percent of its streetlights don’t work…If “Detroit” is defined as the larger metropolitan area that includes its suburbs, “Detroit” has enough money to provide all its residents with adequate if not good public services, without falling into bankruptcy.

bold, ours. more, here.


art: photo of Cynthia and her family, on Dubois Street, Poletown, Detroit by Dave Jordano and Aaron Rothman. 2010.

'Disintegration' Of America's Black Neighborhoods [NPR Report]

In 1942, Washington, D.C.’s U Street neighborhood was a cultural center for the city’s African-American community.  Today, gentrification has pushed many longtime black residents out.

Writer Eugene Robinson grew up in a segregated world. His hometown of Orangeburg, S.C., had a black side of town and a white side of town; a black high school and a white high school; and “two separate and unequal school systems,” he tells NPR’s Steve Inskeep.

But things are different now. Just look at the nation’s capital — home to the first black U.S. president, a large black middle class and many African-Americans who still live in extreme poverty.

Robinson details the splintering of African-American communities and neighborhoods in his new book, Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America. [Read more and listen to report.]


Albany police: SWAT used poor black neighborhood for training because it’s ‘realistic’

The chief of police in Albany, New York says that his department just wanted a “realistic” setting when it frightened residents in a poor, predominately African-American neighborhood with SWAT training exercises that included firing blank ammunition and exploding flash grenades.

On Thursday, Albany’s SWAT team shocked nearby residents when it stormed a public housing complex that was scheduled to be demolished, according to the Times Union. Photos circulated on Facebook over the weekend showed police in tactical gear, spent shell casings and fake blood.

“We wake up to the sound the next morning of literally small bombs,” she said. “All you could hear was ‘pop, pop, pop’ of an assault rifle, police screaming ‘clear!’ I really thought I was in the middle of a war zone.” [RawStory h/t micmase]

East Baltimore slum 
Baltimore, Maryland
Robert F. Kniesche (1906-1976)
4x5 inch acetate negative
Kniesche Photograph Collection
Maryland Historical Society

A San Francisco-based study found that African-American and Latino neighborhoods had proportionally more billboards advertising alcohol and tobacco than white or Asian neighborhoods (Altman et al. 1991). Thirty-one percent of the billboards in Latino neighborhoods advertised alcohol, compared with 23 percent in African-American neighborhoods, 13 percent in white neighborhoods, and 12 percent in Asian neighborhoods.
—  Alcohol availability and targeted advertising in racial/ethnic minority communities, Maria Luisa Alaniz
Frogtown To Victory | Ashley Jones

The mass production and relative affordability of the automobile in the early 20th century resulted in considerable changes to our nation’s infrastructure and the need to intersect highway systems with urban neighborhoods. As a resident of Savannah, Georgia, I am fascinated by the rich history and historic architecture of the city. However, there is a stark division between the restored and legally protected buildings within the central National Historic Landmark District and the struggling, run down neighborhoods that surround it. I am specifically interested in the at-risk neighborhoods along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Savannah, and the ways in which they have been impacted by the construction of the Interstate 16 flyover.

This elevated section of Interstate 16, the Earl T. Shinholster Bridge, held it’s official ribbon cutting in 1967. The construction of the interstate coincided with several other large-scale urban renewal projects including the construction of Kayton and Fraiser homes south and east of the flyover. It intersects with the Westside of Savannah in the historically African American “Frogtown” neighborhood—a neighborhood that has been on the decline since the interchange was completed. In 2010 I began photographically documenting the homes, businesses, and churches in the area immediately surrounding the flyover. My documentation has since expanded to include neighborhoods south of Frogtown and extending several blocks south to Victory Drive. This area includes Cuyler-Brownsville, a neighborhood similarly impacted by connection of 37th Street to I-16.

My photographs depict the current state of this community and the architectural structures that remain to provide an understanding of the historic and contemporary context of this community. I am further exploring local movements to renew and revive Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and the neighborhoods immediately impacted by the Interstate. 


All images & text © Ashley Jones

'...Florida Congressman Trey Radel pleaded guilty to cocaine possession and was sentenced to one year of probation after buying 3.5 grams of cocaine from an undercover agent in D.C.'s Dupont Circle neighborhood. To put that in perspective, when former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry was arrested for smoking a "little speck" of crack cocaine that was not in his personal possession back in 1990, he was sentenced to six months in a federal prison. That about sums up the racial disparity crisis between cocaine and crack possession sentencing in our nation, which despite recent reforms, still allows white men leniency in the courts compared to African-Americans.'


One of the biggest Narusaku idiot in the entire Naruto fandom

One of the biggest Narusakutards ever. She goes by the name strawberrywaifu on tumblr.

This is her deviantart account. She has to be the most delusional Narusaku fan ever. Back in 2014, she goes into this page and mind you, this was months before any pairings were canon; she goes into a Naruhina deviantart page and thinks it’s a good idea to be an anti-naruhina moron towards naruhina fans IN OUR PAGE. That’s beyond idiotic. She might as well go into an African American neighborhood and yell out racial slurs. She’s not only a narusakutard but an anti-naruhina/anti-Hinata. The same can be said if a Naruhina or Sasusaku fan goes into a Narusaku page. Now that the pairings are canon, she’s one of the narusaku fans that hate the series now because of the ending and pairings. Not only that, but she wants to believe that the Naruto series is going downhill because of the ending and The Last Naruto movie, despite the fact that the movie clearly surpassed it’s predecessors in quality and finances. She even takes pleasure in believing that the series is doing badly. What kind of person do you have to be to turn your back on a series that she stated she has followed for years, over canon pairings or the ending? I’ll admit the ending wasn’t perfect but it was an ending that I expected to be like, more or less.

This is exactly what linknic posted

No matter how much sense I talk to this person, she refuses to accept facts and wants to live in her own little world. One of the things she stated was that the animation of the Last Naruto movie was shit!!!….. By that alone, you can tell that she is bs-ing herself at this point. It’s the same thing with these Narusaku fans; you can’t talk logic to them. She even said that she doesn’t recall Narusaku fans harassing Kishimoto! WTF?!? EVERY Naruto fan knows how much the Narusaku fans went insane during November and December of 2014!!! There are countless of videos on Youtube of Naruto fans addressing the Narusaku harassment and that silly petition of banning Naruto. I know there are sensible Narusaku fans. I’m friends with one or two of them on PSN but despite their ship not being canon, they just say shrug, say “oh well” and move on. That’s how it should be. It’s not a big deal to be telling others to kill themselves or even just being disrespectful. A lot of Narusaku fans say Naruhina or Sasusaku fans harass them or rub their victory in their faces but maybe if they didn’t act like sore losers, that wouldn’t happen. The way they react about Naruhina and Sasusaku just screams the fact that they are big babies about this.

This person is truly pathetic. She bashes the series, Naruhina, Sasusaku, Sasuke, Naruto, and Hinata. I had to take a couple of my friends advice and block her on deviantart because there is no point in arguing with a person who has a mental disability. Arguing with idiots like these that choose to see things the way they do is just as good as arguing with a brick wall and now she made a post about me on tumblr, saying how I lost the argument and how pathetic I am. This is how these Narusaku fans act: immature and butthurt. I honestly wonder how long these guys are going to be like this. The way these idiots act just reassures me how good it feels to be canon :) I don’t have anything against Narusaku fans shipping Naruto and Sakura. That’s all find and dandy with me but it’s another thing when you go harass others and spout nonsense.

To all the Naruhina and Sasusaku fans, don’t bother arguing with antis and don’t take what they say seriously. In the end, they are butthurt. We are not. Our ships will sail forever.


Video highlights from the #RoyalVisitUSA, when Their Royal Highnesses visited Louisville, Kentucky​ on Friday.

The video includes stops at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, Neighborhood House​,  The Food Literacy Project​ at Oxmoor Farm​, and The Brooke​ at Churchill Downs​.


So I casually have accrued a ton of expenses, being: random medical bills that I have been unsuccessful in getting my insurance company to waive (some were just crazy high for no reason, but some were procedures I’ve never gotten [I have never gotten a pap smear]), books for the upcoming semester, a new ID card which only became a problem when I brought my cousin to my dorm for a bit, and she was mistaken for a ‘community member’ (my cousin is mixed, and my dorm/school is located in a mostly african american neighborhood, which the school likes to pretend does not exist), and now I’m being told I need a new ID card (which I haven’t had in MONTHS). It would not be such a problem, except I have yet to be reimbursed for a weeklong trip to New Orleans that my school is covering, which will happen in about two months.

Basically I gotta figure shit out, but buy stuff if u want

im not one for protest, im more of the Malcolm X type or more of the person that because he can protest and try to speak all we want but just like when someone is saying something you think is BS and you let them talk but don’t listen that’s how the government is treating us and this protesting era !
&& don’t take me wrong I love peace but I believe in order to be heard ACTION must take place a little violence a little revolution a little bit of hitting them where it hurts && making them suffer an feel our pain ! the way we felt it ! because painting a picture in someone’s head is nothing like making them go through it !
someone will call this post ignorant but if you really think about it ab-soul has a point if all our gangs ( which most gangs are originated from African American neighborhoods since the 60’s/70’s when they wouldn’t let black boys be Boy Scouts ) but If all our gangs unified for this one cause combined with the people like you an me blacks or African American supporters stood together we could really make noise and shock and rock the world an that’s a force that even the military couldn’t handle ! but this is all just my opinion for the night and I actually have a lot more too say on the subject but il keep quiet again

The edge among African-Americans that Mayor Rahm Emanuel enjoyed in his inaugural election seemed to mostly evaporate in this year’s contest. Compared with the 2011 election, the mayor averaged a 16.3 percentage point loss in wards that have a majority-African-American population. The maps below show how he fared in each election. Ward boundaries were redrawn between elections, so numbers between wards aren’t an exact comparison.

One of the things I’ve found that’s really important is giving thought to not just the kind of individual project, like an old house, but what’s the relationship between an old house, a local school, a small bodega, and is there some kind of synergy between those things? Can you get those folk talking? I’ve found that in cases where neighborhoods have failed, they still often have a pulse. How do you identify the pulse in that place, the passionate people, and then how do you get folk who have been fighting, slogging for 20 years, reenergized about the place that they live? And so someone has to do that work. If I were a traditional developer, I would be talking about buildings alone, and then putting a “For Lease” sign in the window. I think that you actually have to curate more than that, that there’s a way in which you have to be mindful about, what are the businesses that I want to grow here? And then, are there people who live in this place who want to grow those businesses with me? Because I think it’s not just a cultural space or housing; there has to be the recreation of an economic core. So thinking about those things together feels right.
—  Theaster Gates, an artist who is creating spaces for life and art to grow in some of the most desolate areas of Chicago
Autumn Phillips on John Edgar Wideman

Autumn Phillips on John Edgar Wideman @AutumnEdit

From an article by Goddard student Autumn Phillips, a journalist in southern Illinois:

I’ve been reading a book by John Edgar Wideman called “The Homewood Books.” It’s a collection of stories about Homewood, a predominantly African-American neighborhood in Pittsburgh. It’s some of the best writing I’ve encountered in years, because Wideman is somehow able to integrate the awareness of the past…

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I am a dance teacher. I teach dance for a program called Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership. This organization brings the arts IE. dance, music, art, and theater etc., to the inner city public school system in Philly, through teachers like myself known as artists in residence.

I teach middle school, fifth through eighth grade. The school I teach at is in an African-American neighborhood.…

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