The Shared Woes of the Auto Industry and the Black Middle Class

The downfall of the American auto industry is also having a major impact on middle and working class African-American families. This piece from the The New York Times Magazine looks at the connection.

As much as one-fifth of workers in the American auto industry are African-American. This piece looks at the rise and fall of the two.

"The story of the rise of America's black working and middle classes is inextricably bound up with that of Detroit and the Big Three. It is not a story with a simple upward trajectory. For a long time, blacks were relegated to the least desirable jobs in the plants and initially confined to a small ghetto on the East Side of the city. But slowly, haltingly, over the course of the 1950s and early '60s, the plants became fully integrated and black workers spread across Detroit block by block, moving the city's de facto color line as they went. 'It wasn't that long ago that Detroit was the home of the nation's most affluent African-American population with the largest percentage of black homeowners and the highest comparative wages,' David Goldberg, an African-American Studies professor at Wayne State University, told me.

Autoworkers still make up much of what is left of Detroit's black middle class, but their numbers are shrinking fast."

Full Story: G.M., Detroit and the Fall of the Black Middle Class

Comments

building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
$25

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs is the only comprehensive ranking and listing of graduate urban planning programs available.
Starting at $24.95

Wear your city with style!

100% silk scarves feature detailed city maps. Choose from six cities with red or blue trim.
$55.00