Origins of "Redevelopment"
Black Detroiters were confined to certain portions of the city after decades of racially-motivated housing policies. Systemic discrimination at every level, from housing to education to employment, created a disadvantaged class of Detroit residents who were at risk during urban renewal initiatives. The Housing Act of 1949 created specific plans for slum clearance and began a series of projects that would drastically change the lives of Detroit’s Black residents. The demolition of housing to make way for an interconnected freeway system, combined with continued employment discrimination, led to growing grievances among Black residents with the city’s policies.