Hidden histories

A few days later, a few days filled with stories, a few days of exploring the D. Not only by driving around, by meeting people, by talking, but by taking leaflets, reading the signs on the streets, and already in this first weeks various layers of histories shape up. Having been impressed by reading Doug Saunders’ book ‘Arrival city’ on the arrival and consecutive ‘landing’ and empowerment of migrants within their own communities I’d like to look at Detroit as an arrival city. Waves of African Americans were coming to town in what was called the Great Migration – the migration of African Americans from the South to the North between 1890 and 1970. They arrived in a town that by then knew great Polish, Ukraianan and Greek communities. Nowadays the town of Hamtramck is referred to as Banglatown, whereas South Western Detroit is widely known as Mexicantown. The latest wave of immigrants are the socalled hipsters, being attracted by the vibrant scene they created for themselves, not necessarily connected with anything already existing in town, and the cheap housing possibilities. What will be a next wave of migration? And will the flagrant segregation that existed, and exists!, once be someting of the past?

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