Heard on Morning Edition

Detroit’s Black Middle Class Is Disappearing

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Image credit: Alex Brisbey/Unsplash

Whites fuel growth in Midtown and downtown, while middle-class neighborhoods have been cut in half over decade, according to Detroit Future City’s study.

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Detroit has a middle class that’s nearly unobtainable for many African American and Latinx people, while economic growth continues for whites.

Detroit Future City, a nonprofit that examines ways to improve economic equity for city residents, looked at a decade of data. 

We should have opportunities for people to be able to live here in the city and be able to find a middle-class home, a middle-class neighborhood where they can grow their families or live as an individual and be really successful and have a really high quality of life.” —Anika Goss, Detroit Future City

The organization’s study found the city lost 11 of its 22 middle-class neighborhoods with many Black middle-class residents moving out of the city. Neighborhoods like Midtown and downtown saw an increase in affluent white people moving in.

CEO Anika Goss says Black people should have the same opportunities.

We should have opportunities for people to be able to live here in the city and be able to find a middle-class home, a middle-class neighborhood where they can grow their families or live as an individual and be really successful and have a really high quality of life.”

Goss says race plays a big part in keeping many from homeownership and the middle class.

The value of your home is based on your ethnicity. There are significant gaps for that. There’s actually a $45,000 gap separating Black homeowners and white homeowners in Detroit.”


Listen: Anika Goss talks about economic equity in Detroit. 


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Russ McNamara, Host, All Things Considered

Russ McNamara is the host of All Things Considered for 101.9 WDET, presenting local news to the station’s loyal listeners. He’s been an avid listener of WDET since he moved to metro Detroit in 2002.

russmcnamara@wdet.org

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