Summary: Racial Discrimination In Postwar Detroit

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Capitalistic Abuse in Postwar Detroit
The racial discrimination in postwar Detroit maintained and supported the capitalist economy inside the city in a variety of forms. The two biggest contributors to this notion began with the exploitation of African American workers in Detroit’s “meanest and dirtiest jobs” (Sugrue 2005, 91). This discrimination in the majority of Detroit's places of employment ultimately supported many employer's economic interests, and sizable profits. As African American’s were fired and taken advantage of in Detroit’s industries they were confined into inner city slums. This, secondly, is how the racial discrimination of Detroit's black community continued to support and maintain capitalism. White Detroiters’ explicit
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Here, once more, a racist managment supported and maintained a capitalist industry. In his book, Sugrue defines this employment sector of African Americans as, “the casual labor market” (Sugrue 119, 2005). He characterizes it this way because of the exploitation of black labor due to their desperation to work and make a living. The building companies treated them as expendables, only hiring them for a day or two when needed, and abandoning them otherwise. Sugrue furthermore illustrates this as he states, “Taking advantage of the ready supply of black men, many white construction workers subcontracted black workers for a fraction of the regular hourly wage” (Sugrue 119, 2005). These private companies again capitalized off the racist agenda of white management to create surplus profit and further impoverish African Americans in Detroit. Due to this racial discrimination African Americans struggled to find an decent and affordable place to …show more content…
Over the years, black Detroiters gained more wealth and in the 1950’s civil rights organizations were created. These organizations demanded integrated housing. As blacks saved money to buy homes in otherwise homogeneous white neighborhoods, whites became increasingly fearful. “Both their economic interests and their communal identities were threatened,” Sugrue writes on page 214 of his book. Housing was the most vital asset to any Detroiters life, white or black. This was due to the uncertainty of the job market and scarcity of housing in Detroit. Real estate agents targeted this fear and anxiety, they harvested an enormous amount of money from it. Abhorrent landowners in the inner city of Detroit, raised rents for blacks because housing was scarce, and took the profit. “The rundown appearance of inner city housing and the streets crowded with children and families seemed confirmation of whites’ worst fears of social order” and they made sure to steer clear at any cost (Sugrue 216, 2005). As wealthy whites fled their previous neighborhoods to more expensive homes outside of the city to stay away from the “blight”, these new houses became more expensive. Real estate agents profited off selling a new, expensive house outside the city to a white family, and selling that white families’ previous house to a black family for an

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