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 Building Bridges 
 Weekly Program
 Ken Nash and Mimi Rosenberg  
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Black Detroit: A People's History of Self-Determination
Herb Boyd, journalist, educator, author, and activist. His articles appear regularly in the New York Amsterdam News. He teaches Black studies at the City College of New York and the College of New Rochelle.

Herb Boyd excites and stimulates us with his inspiring, illuminating book that will interest students of urban history and the Black experience.

Detroit was surely the capital of 20th-century African-America, as native son
Herb Boyd recounts, this centrality dates back to the American Revolution but became pronounced at the time of the Civil War, when Detroit went from being an important station along the under-ground Railroad to become an important source of abolitionism, industrialism, and sheer manpower for the war effort including Black soldiers bound for the Union ranks.

As the author notes, however, Black Detroit's ascendency did not mean an end to racial tension; though he grew up on a block with Italian, Irish, and Jewish families, our blackness was for our neighbors an object of derision and insult. Boyd celebrates the rising-above that accompanied this ethnic contest, the grit and determination that put Berry Gordys Motown on the map, lifted the members of the Supremes and the Miracles from the projects, and ushered in a second black literary renaissance through the pens of Gwendolyn Brooks and Nikki Giovanni. As he reminds his readers, immigrants and exiles from other regions and countries did their parts to shape Black Detroit: Malcolm X lived there before moving to New York and taking a leading part in the radical wing of the civil rights movement, while Rosa Parks moved there from the South in 1957. Parkss commitment to fight Jim Crow"North or South "was unrelenting, writes the author. Though the city has fallen victim since to outmigration, its population having fallen from 1.8 million in 1950 to about 670,000 today, Boyd writes confidently that the citys African-American
population will be central to its revival, concluding, Im proud to be a Detroiter.
produced by Mimi Rosenberg and Ken Nash
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