The beta version of our new website is now available. Switch to beta – you can come back to our original site at any time.

Detroit bankruptcy and beyond

Stories posted here are part of the Detroit Journalism Cooperative’s work on covering the city through, and after, its historic bankruptcy filing.

He started the Detroit riot. His son wrestles with the carnage.

Bill Scott threw the first bottle at police, an act that encouraged violent uprisings by black Detroiters in 1967. His son grew up thinking his race didn’t matter. Until one night, suddenly, it did.

Read more

He started the Detroit riot. His son wrestles with the carnage: Part 2

The father The origins of the Scott family’s story is a familiar one in Detroit. William Walter Scott II, the owner of the blind pig and Bill Scott’s father, was born in Georgia and came to Detroit as child, just as the […]

Read more

He started the Detroit riot. His son wrestles with the carnage: Part 3

Ann Arbor Bill Scott never did move back to Detroit. For the Ann Arbor of that era was a cauldron of activism, music, drugs and experimental ways of living and thinking, with John Sinclair and the White Panthers, SDS, feminist scholars, the […]

Read more

Segregation then and now: Metro Detroit

Following the fire and violence of 1967, Detroit established itself as the most segregated metro area in the country, with African Americans confined to narrow sections of the city and much of the suburbs a no-go zone. (See a Bridge report on […]

Read more

Black flight to suburbs masks lingering segregation in metro Detroit

Residential racism may be less overt than in the 1960s, but whites still live among whites, and blacks among blacks, 50 years after the violence of 1967.




Read more

DJC Poll: Blacks, whites differ in opinions of treatment in local courts

Black and white residents of southeast Michigan differ in their perceptions of how people of color are treated in local courts, according to a recent poll commissioned by the Detroit Journalism Cooperative. About half – 49 percent – of African-Americans surveyed said […]

Read more

Will Detroit school board candidates choose to fight or unite?

Some of the 63 candidates for school board want to carry on the fight against the state’s financial oversight. Others vow to work within the state’s restrictions. See our database on each candidate.

Read more

The War on Crime, not crime itself, fueled Detroit’s post-1967 decline

In this Q-and-A, historian and National Book Award finalist Heather Ann Thompson argues that draconian police tactics in black Detroit neighborhoods had as much to do with the city’s decimation as white flight and lost jobs.




Read more

Three prison reform ideas drawing bipartisan support

Increasingly, policymakers across the political spectrum are coalescing around specific areas to reduce prison populations and successfully integrate inmates back in their communities.




Read more

School choice, metro Detroit’s new white flight

Nearly 50 years after the racial tumult of 1967, state schools of choice policies are helping to create more racially segregated districts in metro Detroit and beyond.

Read more

DATABASE: How ‘school choice’ has changed Michigan districts

See how school choice has changed racial demographics in some districts across the region

Read more

Walking back segregation in Ferndale schools

Ferndale, an inner-ring suburb popular with Detroit students, is taking bold steps to desegregate its schools.




Read more

Hatch contest leans toward white winners in majority black Detroit

The $50,000 Hatch Detroit competition has helped startups launch creative businesses in the thriving central city. But winning entries for entrepreneurs of color in Detroit’s neighborhoods have proven more elusive.




Read more

The Detroit Historical Museum wants your story from the summer of ‘67

The museum is collecting oral histories from Detroit and suburban residents who lived through the chaos and pain of the disturbances that took place in Detroit that summer as its 50th anniversary nears.




Read more

For Detroit’s new school board, state still wields the power

Detroit’s school board will have power limits unlike other districts across Michigan. Some fear that those restrictions will scare off strong candidates




Read more

Detroit pension funds under pressure to reach ‘Grand Bargain’ goals

Early payments to city retirement funds from the state and the Detroit Institute of Arts were heavily discounted, which means the troubled pensions must produce even bigger returns over two decades.




Read more

DJC Poll: Black and white optimism on Detroit-area race relations

Yet the Detroit Journalism Cooperative survey on racial attitudes also shows that bias infiltrates the daily lives of blacks in the region a way that many whites can’t imagine.




Read more

Metro Detroit racial divide is widest over police

The Detroit Journalism Cooperative survey found significant optimism over racial attitudes in general. But blacks and whites have vastly different experiences — and opinions — concerning law enforcement.




Read more

Invest in non-partisan journalism.

Donate to The Center for Michigan. Find out why.