Detroit: An African American City With World-Class Impact

by Vanessa Loy (BPRW)

African American City With Impact
Detroit fits many descriptions as a city. Detroit is a world-renowned city as the birthplace of Ford and General Motors automobiles and the Motown record label, which represent some of America’s most famous industries. It is a border city, being within driving distance of the Canadian city of Windsor. And it is a predominantly black city, over 80 percent black according to the 2000 census.

The growth of industrial jobs in the 1920’s started attracting black families to Detroit. Today, there’s plenty of black history to experience on your trip. You can start your history lesson by visiting the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. For vacation souvenirs, come visit the Shrine of the Black Madonna Cultural Center and Book Store. You can browse through a wide variety of African artwork, prints, books and other gift items.

Next is the Black Holocaust Museum, which graphically depicts the cost of the slave trade on human lives. Then cross the Canadian border into Essex, Ontario, to visit the John Freeman Walls Historic Site & Underground Railroad Museum. This attraction is a tribute to escaped slave John Freeman Walls, who traveled to safety through the historical Underground Railroad.

In the mood for some music? Come see where Marvin Gaye, the Jackson 5, the Supremes, Stevie Wonder and many others got their start, at the Motown Historical Museum. This museum offers guided tours through the very places where these stars first recorded. The museum gift shop offers shirts, caps, educational materials and collectable items with the Motown logo to commemorate your visit.

If cars are your thing, then Detroit is your city! Detroit is home to GM World, a showroom-type museum that displays current and vintage GM vehicles and highlights the company’s history. Nearby Dearborn offers the Automotive Hall of Fame, the Henry Ford Estate, and the Henry Ford Museum and IMAX Theater. The city of Novi contains the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, dedicated to the racing champions of such vehicles as stock cars, motorcycles, sports cars, power boats and many others. The history of Chrysler vehicles and special collectables are on display at the Walter P. Chrysler Museum in Auburn Hills.

Whatever interests you have, Detroit is an African American city with world-class impact.
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