Coleman A. Young served as mayor of the city of Detroit, Mich., longer than any person in the city’s history. He came to office facing the problem of a dwindling tax base as the city lost population. Detroit’s new mayor noted it was by “economics and race or race and economics” that today the streets of the Linwood community are all but empty. There are more vacant house than there are homes in Linwood these days.
The corners and blocks that have become gardens are the only signs of life in a community that was volant in the ’60s and surfeit in many ways with people of all walks of life. The streets were always crowded and business was always taking place in the a.m. or p.m.; you could smell money in the air.
The population of the city is still declining and the problems are still race and economics. The question is can it change? Is this just the way things are in this part of the country?
The Young family moved from Tuscaloosa, Ala., in 1923 to find the Klan of the north burning crosses just like the Klan of the south. In 1923 the Klan burned a cross on the lawn of Detroit’s City Hall as black families moved from one oppressive situation to another.
Must we concluded that Detroit is just Detroit and can do no better? Must the city die and come back again? Is there a hope for rebirth or do we change the name to Little Detroit and move on?
No more the Automobile Capital and no Big D; just Little Detroit.