New Book “Black Detroit” Looks at Complex History of Race in the City

Jake Neher/WDET

Stephen Henderson (left) with author Herb Boyd (right)

Author Herb Boyd’s new book “Black Detroit: A People’s History of Self-Determination” explores the complexity of the city’s racial legacy from its earliest days.

The book was released this week. The Charles H. Wright Museum will host Boyd for a discussion about the book on Saturday, June 10, at 2 p.m.

Boyd tells Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson racial tensions in Detroit are as old as the city itself.

I take the book back to 1701, I come in with Cadillac,” says Boyd, referring to the founder of Detroit, Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac, who Boyd says may have had “a strain of African blood.”

All of these different narratives that we follow, whether it’s political, economic, cultural,” he continues, ”Detroit is just — Black Detroit, in particular — are very instrumental in that evolution, in that struggle.”

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.

Image credit: Jake Neher/WDET

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