Detroit: East Side Vs. West Side

detroit gangs detroit hoods detroit ghetto

The Detroit Ghetto: East Side Vs. West Side

In a city where if you can make it there then you can make it anywhere, the streets within the Detroit ghetto has created and produced a number of entrepreneurs, businessmen, and hustlers, all who hold the true definitions of coming from nothing or making something out of nothing.

A city that is mostly divided between the East Side and West Side, while there are other sections like the Southwest or Highland Park and the North End the East and West sides hold the majority of the population, which means the two sides hold the majority of the streets.

detroit gangs detroit hoods detroit ghetto

Between the 1970s and the 2000s, a new era of Detroit came into effect, in which the streets of the Detroit ghetto created a number of hustlers in the form of Young Boys Incorporate, Black Mafia Family, Pony Down, Cash Flow Posse, Dog Pound, and many more.

Before the 1970s, the Italian Mob had the most control in Detroit from the beginning of the Prohibition to the height of the heroin trade, with the Detroit Partnership, also known as the Detroit Combination.*

Even though there have been a number of affiliations in Detroit that include the Bloods and Crips after the days of homegrown old school Detroit gangs like the Errol Flynns, the claim of a neighborhood in the Detroit ghetto seems to be greatest affiliation in the Detroit streets.

Map mostly indicates the Detroit hoods and not necessarily the Detroit gangs but showing the main areas of the city’s affiliations.


The question might arise what led to the decline of this once All-American city that brought in thousands of jobs and some might say was the birthplace of the automobile as numerous of car manufacturers gave many opportunities.

As the days of segregation were forcing the Detroit black population to be centered in one specific area, sections of the East Side Detroit became designated for the black community, Paradise Valley and the Black Bottom with Hastings Street being the heart of the population.

The Detroit black population in the city grew during the early 1900s as southerners migrated from small towns in states like Alabama as the the movement of African-Americans into Detroit led to the population to equal over 100,000 by the 1930s.

With the help of employment opportunities in the automobile industry, as well the wartime positions that were available, the Detroit black population continued to increase over the years.

Before the city became predominantly African-American, the city of Detroit had a history of racial tension and conflicts due to the constant discrimination and racism the city’s black population would have to face.

detroit black history

Scene of the 1960s Detroit Riots

The biggest event was the Detroit Riots during the summer of 1967, after years of experiencing discrimination the frustration led to a week-long riot of destroying neighborhood businesses and battling the law enforcement.

After the riot, the population loss of Detroit increased, along with the loss of local businesses, with hundreds of families leaving the city for Oakland County during the 1950s and 1960s, making the majority of the residents to reside in the suburbs rather than the city of Detroit.


The movement eventually led to 8 Mile Road to become the racial dividing line between the Detroit ghetto and the suburban communities of Oakland County as the city became predominantly black.

The East Side versus the West Side, an often debate about what side is better as the two have numerous blocks along streets like Joy Road or Mack Avenue, but to be noted there is not a current deadly or violent beef or conflict between the two sides.

The West Side might seem more upkept and less dilapidated compared to the East Side were there is more dilapidation in the community and the ‘hoods of the East Side have a more grimey appeal to them.

detroit gangs detroit hoods detroit ghetto

The East Side might seem to be the most active section of the two, while the West Side may seem more laid back, flashy, and breeds hustlers, but those are only opinions and each side has the same features with very little differences.

A breakdown of the Detroit ghetto on the city’s East Side includes ‘hoods and blocks off of streets like 6 Mile, 7 Mile, Chedda Ave (Chalmers St.), Mack Ave, Gratiot, Morang, East Warren, and Van Dyke.

detroit gangs detroit hoods detroit ghetto

On the city’s West Side, a larger side has blocks along the West Side’s major streets of the Number Streets, 12th Street, Dexter, Linwood, Joy Road, Plymouth Road (P-Rock), Fenkell (4-1), Schoolcraft, 6 Mile, 7 Mile, Puritan Avenue and West Warren.

Outside of the West Side and the East Side, there is the Southwest section of Detroit that is home to the city’s Latino population, along with the Southwest’s black community, living in areas from McGraw to West Jefferson.

Currently, the city of Detroit has been losing residents year by year as much of the city’s once black community have relocated across 8 Mile into the suburbs in Oakland County like Southfield as the population is decreasing and the vacant properties are increasing.


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*Note: All information is provided through people of the community, outside sources, and research.  Some information might not be current and/or 100% accurate.

Detroit History Sources:

*Burnstein, Scott. “The Detroit Drug Wars. Part 1”. Gangster

Martelle, Scott. “Detroit {A Biography}”. Chicago Review Press. 2012

Williams, Jeremy. “Detroit:: The Black Bottom Community”. Arcadia Publishing 2009

Old School Gangs:

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