Chronicle of Black Detroit
Black Detroit: A People's History of Self-Determination (Review)

Georgakas, Dan

Publisher:  Against the Current
Date Written:  01/09/2017
Year Published:  2017  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX21688

Book review of Herb Boyd's Black Detroit: A People's History of Self-Determination.



Michigan politicians like to brag that because of the Northwest Ordinance, the state never sanctioned slavery. Boyd shows that is a half-truth by examining the loop-holes and informal practices that allowed slavery to exist to some degree right through to the Civil War. Black Detroit is filled with corrections of this kind.

All elements of Black culture are addressed. A rich source of data are Black-owned newspapers and pamphlets that often cover what dominant media ignores. The Inner-City Voice, South End, and Michigan Chronicle, for example, are newspapers highlighted for their role in the battles of the 1960s.

Politically active religious leaders are ever-present. Boyd chronicles their influence from the early abolitionist period to the conflicting perceptions of Black nationalist clergy, Black Muslims, and different Christian perspectives at the peak of the civil rights movement.