City Storiez

Detroit: Breakdown of the Motor City

4 Mins read

The Detroit Ghetto Story

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, and not just the stereotype of Detroit gangs and drug dealers.

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.

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

Detroit Black History

The Detroit black history story might raise the question of 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, while numerous car manufacturers gave many employment opportunities.

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

detroit black history

Integration. A convoy of African-American moving trucks protected by police cars. Whites had protested integration of the Sojourner Truth homes, a new U.S. federal housing project. Detroit, Michigan, Everett Historical / Shutterstock

The Detroit black population grew during the early 1900s as southerners migrated from small towns in states like Alabama.  The movement of African-Americans into Detroit led to the population to equal over 100,000 by the 1930s, mainly due to the employment opportunities in the automobile industry, as well the wartime positions that were available.

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

detroit black history

The biggest event of Detroit black history 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 decreased, along with the loss of local businesses, with hundreds of families leaving the city for Oakland County during the 1950s and 1960s.  This made the majority of the residents to reside in the suburbs rather than the actual city of Detroit.

The Detroit Ghetto of Today

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.

detroit ghetto

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.

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.

detroit ghetto

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, Morang, East Warren, and Van Dyke.

On the Detroit hoods of the West Side, the larger side of Detroit, has communities like 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.

detroit ghetto

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 the Southfield community, as the population is decreasing and the vacant properties are increasing.

A good note, many are optimistic about the future of the city of Detroit.  Currently, there is much rebuilding and a revitalization attempt of the city’s downtown area.  On the other hand, the actual communities have seen very little rebuilding as companies, out of towners, etc., are buying up properties throughout the city.

*Feature Image provided by Christopher Boswell/

Follow Link for more City Stories from around the country

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