Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Motor City Burning - The History of America's Crown Jewel of Urban Blight

For decades, Detroit has been the crown jewel of United States' urban blight. Over the last 60 years they have lost roughly 1.1 million citizens, from their 1950 peak of 1,849,568. The latest census shows the city at it's lowest population number since 1910, at 713,777.

There are many reasons for the decline. But while many cite the 1967 riots as the beginning of the end, the decline actually began well before that. And the reasons for the decline go much deeper - and remain more complex - than the violence of July 1967.

In 2007, I produced a radio documentary on the 1967 Detroit riot. Through interviews, research and archival footage, the program was an examination of the political, social and economic factors that led to the riot, as well as what happened to Detroit in the years afterward. The 2-plus hour production is now on my YouTube channel. The first segment of the sixteen-part report begins below.

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