Demographics of Detroit

                               White          Black       Native American          Asian          Hispanic

Total Population  81.6%         12.3%               0.3%                      1.0%               5.0%


1.With the introduction of Prohibition, smugglers used the river as a major conduit for Canadian spirits, organized in large part by the notorious Purple Gang. Strained racial relations were evident in the 1920s trial of Dr. Ossian Sweet, a black Detroit physician acquitted of murder. A man died when shots were fired from Ossian's house into a threatening mob who gathered to try to force him out of a predominantly white neighborhood.

2.In the year, 1932, Eddie "The Midnight Express" Tolan, a black student from Detroit's Cass Technical High School, won the 100- and 200-meter races and two gold medals at the 1932 Summer Olympics. Joe Louis won the heavyweight championship of the world in 1937. 

3.Urban development in Detroit has been an important issue. In 1973, the city elected its first black mayor, Coleman Young. Despite development efforts, his combative style during his five terms in office was not well received by many whites. Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick resigned his office effective September 19, 2008, after pleading guilty to two counts of obstruction of justice and no contest to one count of assaulting and obstructing a police officer. Kilpatrick was succeeded in office on an interim basis by City Council President Kenneth Cockrel, Jr. until a May, 2009 special election in which businessman and former Detroit Pistons star Dave Bing was elected Mayor for the remaining duration of Kilpatrick's term. 

4.Live music has been a prominent feature of Detroit's nightlife since the late 1940s, bringing the city recognition under the nickname Motown. The metropolitan area has many nationally prominent live music venues. Concerts hosted by Live Nation perform throughout the Detroit area. 

5.Greektown Historic District in Detroit.The city of Detroit has a rich musical heritage and has contributed to a number of different genres over the decades leading into the new millennium. Important music events in the city include: the Detroit International Jazz Festival, the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, the Motor City Music Conference (MC2), the Urban Organic Music Conference, the Concert of Colors, and the hip-hop Summer Jamz festival.

6.In the 1940s, blues artist John Lee Hooker became a long-term resident in the city's southwest Delray neighborhood. Hooker, among other important blues musicians migrated from his home in Mississippi bringing the Delta Blues to northern cities like Detroit. Hooker recorded for Fortune Records, the biggest pre-Motown blues/soul label. During the 1950s, the city became a center for jazz, with stars performing in the Black Bottom neighborhood. Prominent emerging Jazz musicians of the 1960s included: trumpet player Donald Byrd who attended Cass Tech and performed with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers early in his career and Saxophonist Pepper Adams who enjoyed a solo career and accompanied Byrd on several albums. The Graystone International Jazz Museum documents jazz in Detroit.

7.Other, prominent Motor City R&B stars in the 1950s and early 1960s was Nolan Strong, Andre Williams and Nathaniel Mayer - who all scored local and national hits on the Fortune Records label. According to Smokey Robinson, Strong was a primary influence on his voice as a teenager. The Fortune label was a family-operated label located on Third Avenue in Detroit, and was owned by the husband and wife team of Jack Brown and Devora Brown. Fortune, which also released country, gospel and rockabilly LPs and 45s, laid the groundwork for Motown, which became Detroit's most legendary record label.

8.Berry Gordy, Jr. founded Motown Records which rose to prominence during the 1960s and early 1970s with acts such as Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Diana Ross & The Supremes, the Jackson 5, Martha and the Vandellas, The Spinners, Gladys Knight & the Pips, and Marvin Gaye. Artists were backed by the Funk Brothers, the Motown house band that was featured in Paul Justman's 2002 documentary film Standing in the Shadows of Motown, based on Allan Slutsky's book of the same name. The Motown Sound played an important role in the crossover appeal with popular music, since it was the first African American owned record label to primarily feature African-American artists. Gordy moved Motown to Los Angeles in 1972 to pursue film production, but the company has since returned to Detroit. Aretha Franklin, another Detroit R&B star, carried the Motown Sound; however, she did not record with Berry's Motown Label.

9.In 1990s and the new millennium, the city has produced a number of influential artists, including Eminem, the hip-hop artist with the highest cumulative sales, and hip-hop producer J Dilla. Detroit is cited as the birthplace of techno music. Prominent Detroit Techno artists include Juan Atkins, Derrick May, and Kevin Saunderson.

10.Many of the area's prominent museums are located in the historic cultural center neighborhood around Wayne State University and the College for Creative Studies. These museums include the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Detroit Historical Museum, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Detroit Science Center, as well as the main branch of the Detroit Public Library. Other cultural highlights in Detroit include Motown Historical Museum, the Pewabic Pottery studio and school, the Tuskegee Airmen Museum, Fort Wayne, the Dossin Great Lakes Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit (CAID), and the Belle Isle Conservatory. 

11.Annual summer events include the Electronic Music Festival, International Jazz Festival, the Woodward Dream Cruise, the African World Festival, the Detroit Hoedown, Noel Night, and Dally in the Alley. Held since 1924, America's Thanksgiving Parade is one of the nation's largest. River Days, a five-day summer festival on the International Riverfront lead up to the Windsor-Detroit International Freedom Festival fireworks, which draw super sized-crowds ranging from hundreds of thousands to over three million people.

12.The Metro Times is a weekly publication, covering news, arts & entertainment. Also founded in 1935 and based in Detroit the Michigan Chronicle is one of the oldest and most respected African-American weekly newspapers in America.

13.Detroit and the rest of southeastern Michigan have a humid continental climate which is influenced by the Great Lakes. Winters are cold, with moderate snowfall and temperatures at night occasionally dropping below 0 °F around six times per year, while summers are warm to hot with temperatures exceeding 90 °F on 12 days. Snowfall, which typically peaks from December to through February, averages 43.3 inches per season.

Radio Stations

WHPR 88.1 FM Highland Park, MI Urban Contemporary 
WSMF (CP) 88.9 FM Imlay City, MI Christian Contemporary 
W206BI (WDMK) 89.1 FM Hamtramck, MI Urban Contemporary 
CJAM 91.5 FM Windsor, ON university of windsor Variety
WMXD 92.3 FM Detroit, MI Urban Contemporary 
WKQI 95.5 FM Detroit, MI Top-40 
WJLB 97.9 FM Detroit, MI Hip Hop 
W252BX (WDZH) 98.3 FM Detroit, MI Top-40 
WDZH 98.7 FM Detroit, MI Top-40 
W206BI (WDMK) 99.9 FM Hamtramck, MI Urban Contemporary
W272CA (WDZH) 102.3 FM Detroit, MI Top-40 
WHTD 102.7 FM Mount Clemens, MI Hip Hop 
WOMC 104.3 FM Detroit, MI Oldies 
W284BQ (WGPR) 104.7 FM Detroit, MI Urban Contemporary 
WDMK 105.9 FM Detroit, MI Urban Contemporary 
W292DK (WMXD) 106.3 FM Westland, MI Urban Contemporary
WJR 760 AM Detroit, MI News/Talk 
WTKA 1050 AM Ann Arbor, MI Sports 
WXYT 1270 AM Detroit, MI Sports 
WDTK 1400 AM Detroit, MI News/Talk 

A Touch of History

Before World War I, Detroit had about 4,000 black people, 1% of its population. The first major period of black growth occurred from 1910 to and 1930. At the time, most blacks lived in communities made up of other racial groups. Due to the war effort, employers wanted employees to fill labor jobs. Many African Americans migrated from the Southern United States to Detroit to work as part of the first Great Migration. The black population, in 1910-1930, increased from under 6,000 to over 120,000. By 1920, of Michigan's black population, 87% was born outside of the state, and most of those born out-of-state came from the U.S. South. Many black "ghettoes" in Metro Detroit formed as the black population increased. T. J. Sugrue, author of The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit, wrote that the first racial divisions between Whites and Blacks occurred during that Great Migration.

In 1912 the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) founded a Detroit chapter. The Detroit Urban League was founded in 1916. Both organizations used the support of black churches. Steve Babson, author of Working Detroit: The Making of a Union Town, wrote that in the early 20th Century the black population "was relatively behind the middle-class leadership" of the NAACP and the Urban League. Around the 1920s and 1930s black people working in Henry Ford's factories settled in Inkster because they did not want to commute from Detroit and they were not allowed to live in Dearborn.

What’s Happening?

The REAL Black Friday 


Blacks have over a trillion dollars in buying power, we spend with everyone else but our own, and when we do spend with our own-what are those black businesses doing for our community? Join us for The REAL Black Friday 2016, 76 black business vendors willing to put their profits they make from the event into a black bank, a black bank will be there helping more blacks opening accounts and beginning conversations on loaning to more black businesses and individuals.


WHAT: Workshops on how to start a business and why its important for communities and may be the answer to racism, 76 Black Vendors to shop and support instead of spending your money with companies that has done nothing to support your community, Classes on how to purchase a home or business- cash or mortgage in black communities, black owned bank there to open up 1,000 accounts with businesses and individuals, discussion on beginning to offer loans to black businesses and individuals to invest in the community, and much much more! Building Black, Supporting Black, GROWING BLACK. To take our community back, to support our own, to grow our own, to end police brutality, harassment, gentrification, we need to build wealth, power, and influence.


1.Bea's Comedy Kitchen -   541 E Larned St, Detroit, Michigan (313) 961-2581

2.Buddha Lounge -   21633 W Eight Mile Rd, Detroit, Michigan (313) 535-4664

3.Cliff Bell's -  Cliff Bell's has joined the ranks of premier Jazz venues in the city of Detroit. -  2030 Park Ave, Detroit, Michigan (313) 961-2543  -


4.Club Yesterday’s -  Known as The World's Oldest Jazz Club -   20510 Livernois Ave, Detroit, MI (313) 345-6300


5.Elysium Lounge -  Category: Nightclub -  625 Shelby Street, Detroit, MI (248) 761-9698

6.Lucky's Bar & Grill -  Category: Nightclub -  24200 Grand River Avenue, Detroit, MI 


7.Plan B -  Category: Nightclub -  205 Congress & Shelby, Detroit, MI   

8.St. Andrews -  Category: Nightclub -  205 Congress & Brush, Detroit, MI (313) 961-8961


9.The Limit -   15535 W 8 Mile Rd, Detroit, Michigan (313) 341-8000.


10.Zoo Bar -  Category: Nightclub -  415 E Congress Avenue, Detroit, MI (313) 961-5005





  1. African World Festival 
    Downtown Detroit, Philip Hart Plaza, Detroit, Michigan (313) 494-5800 (August) 

    Three days of free family fun.

  2. Detroit Festival of the Arts 
    Located In Midtown’s University Cultural Center (June)  -

    The Detroit Festival of the Arts is a three day arts festival in Detroit, Michigan, held on the second weekend of June. First held in 1986, the Festival features free musical performances, art showings, activities for children and expensive food. It is located on Detroit's cultural center, spanning the Detroit Institute of Arts, the main branch of the Detroit Public Library and the main Wayne State University campus.

  3. Laughin The Pain Away Comedy Show 
    This event will support shelters and centers in the Detroit Metro area. (Dec)   Bert's Warehouse located in the Eastern Market, 2739 Russell St., Detroit, MI 48207 (313) 687-7720 

    The event will be launched in Detroit for the benefit of victims of domestic violence, the unemployed and homeless.

  4. Spirit of Detroit Music Festival 
    Located Michigan State Fairgrounds, 1120 W. State Fair Ave., Detroit, Michigan; (313) 868-7464   - R&B, country, blues, hip-hop, jazz, rock, you name it we got it for this annual event.




The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is located in the Cultural Center of the U.S. city of Detroit, Michigan. Founded in 1965, it holds the world's largest permanent exhibit on African American culture


Address: Wayne State University, 315 E Warren Ave, Detroit, MI 48201

Hours: Closed today

Phone: (313) 494-5800

Hours:10AM TO 5PM

Monday                  Closed

Tuesday                  9AM–5PM

Wednesday            9AM–5PM

Thursday                9AM–5PM

Friday                      9AM–5PM

Saturday                 9AM–5PM

Sunday                    1PM–5PM


Mission is to open minds and change lives through the exploration and celebration of African American history and culture. 


Vision is of a world in which the adversity and achievement of African American history inspire everyone toward greater understanding, acceptance and unity!


History Dr. Charles Wright, an obstetrician and gynecologist, envisioned an institution to preserve Black history after visiting a memorial to Danish World War II heroes in Denmark. As a result of this visit, he was convinced that African Americans needed a similar resource center to document, preserve and educate the public on their history, life and culture.


In 1965, Dr. Wright, in partnership with 33 racially-integrated members of the community, established Detroit's first International Afro-American Museum. The museum, known by the acronym IAM, opened on West Grand Boulevard with dozens of exhibits showcasing such items as African masks from Nigeria and Ghana and the inventions of Elijah McCoy. A year later, the IAM traveling museum, housed in a converted mobile home, began touring the state and spreading information about the contributions of African Americans. The Museum quickly outgrew its quarters.

In the fall of 1978, the City of Detroit agreed to lease the Museum a plot of land between John R and Brush Streets to build a facility five times larger than its predecessor. In order to raise funds, Detroit Public School students participated in a "Buy a Brick" campaign, raising $80,000 for the new facility. Following the students' initiative, a group of adults started the Million Dollar Club in which each member pledged at least $1,000. This major fundraiser earned $300,000.


In 1985, the Afro-American Museum and the City of Detroit formed a partnership to build a new facility in the city's University Cultural Center, securing the funding to complete the $3.5 million facility.


The name of the International Afro-American Museum was changed to the Museum of African American History and ground was broken for a new facility on May 21, 1985. Two years later, the doors of the Museum of African American History were reopened to the public at 301 Frederick Douglass. The new 28,000-square-foot structure accommodated a range of offerings. Featuring a series of exhibits, lectures, concerts, cultural celebrations, festivals and programs designed especially for children, it preserved the past and strengthened the future.


Once again the museum outgrew its facility and grander ideas for a new museum took shape. In 1992, Detroit voters authorized the City of Detroit to sell construction bonds to finance a larger building and ground was broken for the third generation of the Museum in August of 1993. In April of 1997, a 125,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility opened, making it the largest African American historical museum in the world.


One year later, the museum was renamed the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in honor of its founder. The museum continues to serve its community as a place of exploration and celebration. With generous support from individuals, foundations, corporations, and government sources, The Wright Museum continues to be a cultural icon in the city of Detroit and throughout the world.

Egyptian Art

The core collection of Egyptian art came from a donation from Detroit pharmaceutical manufacturer Frederick Stearns in 1890. Stearns had acquired these early pieces, including some mummies, pottery and seals, during his trips to Egypt and the Near East. Additional early works originated as compensation for the DIA's brief support of the Egypt Exploration Fund. For a while, too, the museum commissioned Howard Carter, renowned discoverer of King Tutankhamun's tomb, to serve as its purchase agent. In addition to six Egyptian acquisitions made possible by this arrangement, several fine purchases over the years have boosted the collection.

Today this rich collection includes diverse artistic genres, imagery, and media, representing approximately 3000 years of Egyptian civilization. Among the most significant sculptures are the Seated Man (2465-2323 B.C.), Seated Scribe (ca. 1350 B.C.) and the portrait of Sebek em hat, a leader of Priests (1780 B.C.). However the fine group of mummies, coffins, parts of sarcophagi and tomb walls, together with an array of funerary and religious paraphernalia constitute the collections key attractions. Steles and papyri that document aspects of Egyptian history also enrich the collection. The Papyrus of Nes-min (ca. 300 B.C.) is particularly noteworthy as a complete book of the dead comprising of prayers and spells intended to help the deceased's spirit in the next life. There are also numerous objects that document daily life in ancient Egypt.

Africa Oceania and the Indigenous Americas

The Department oversees four separate collection segments: the arts of Africa, Egypt, the South Pacific, and the Indigenous Americas. Reflecting current scholarship and geography, Egyptian art is now a sub-section of this department. African art thus consists of works from the rest of Africa other than Egypt.


The DIA's African art collection ranks among the finest in the United States. It comprises some rare world-class works from nearly one hundred African cultures, predominantly from regions south of the Sahara desert. A diverse collection, ranging from sculpture to textiles to exquisite utilitarian wares, religious paraphernalia and bodily ornaments, it is heavily weighted toward the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

African art collecting is inextricably tied to the founding of the Detroit Institute of Arts at the turn of 20th century and remains one of the institution's important hallmarks. From the late 1800s through the 1930s, generous contributions from some of Detroit's first collectors, such as Frederick Stearns and Robert Tannahill, helped to develop the core collection. This included priceless works, such as several Benin royal brass sculptures, an exquisite 16th century Kongo Afro-Portuguese ivory knife container, a 17th century Owo ivory bracelet, a Kongo steatite funerary figure (ntadi) and a finely crafted Asante royal gold soul-washer's badge recovered from the chamber of the nineteenth century Asante King, Kofi Karikari. Support from the City of Detroit has since aided the purchase of additional works of exceptional quality and provenance to this early group: for example, a Guro standing female figure from the collection of Tristan Tzara, an early Picasso associate and several Kuba vessels collected by the renowned German explorer Leo Frobenius.

As a result of significant contributions from other luminaries like Eleanor Clay Ford and G. Mennen-Williams, the collection has grown substantially over the last three decades and now boasts more than 300 significant pieces. Some of the most important acquisitions of this period include a rareBenin bronze equestrian statue, a carved wooden palace door by renowned early 20th century Yoruba master carver Olowe of Ise, an Epa mask by his compatriot Bamgboye of Odo-Owa, and the great 19th century Kongo nail figure (nkisi nkonde). Recently the addition of an Ethiopian Coptic Christian triptych, a magnificent nineteenth century Ijo funerary screen from the Kalabari of Nigeria, and a pair of bridal outfits from the Mpondo (Xhosa) of South Africa have further strengthened the DIA's position in the world of African art.

Perhaps the most vibrant aspect of the department, the African collection will likely continue to grow as the collector base of the museum and southeast Michigan expands. While the present emphasis for African art is cultures south of the Sahara desert, the department plans to expand its focus to include North African and contemporary African art.

Oceanic Art

The DIA possesses a small, but compelling, collection of art from the Pacific Islands, primarily Polynesia and New Guinea. Presenting visitors with a unique perspective on many of the varied cultures of the region, these artifacts display extraordinary craftsmanship while illustrating the vibrant cultural traditions of Oceania. The collection spans approximately 150 years, from the early 1800's through the mid-1900's.

Among the collection's select treasures is a remarkable artifact from Easter Island: an intricately carved, crescent-shaped Pectoral. This large ornament is designed to be worn on the chest. A larger carving created by a sculptor who lived in the upper reaches of the Sepik River, in Northeast New Guinea, is called a Malu Board and represents an ancestral spirit.


This curatorial department and resource center develops special exhibitions, lectures and symposia on African American art. The Center was designed to enhance public knowledge of African American contributions to the art community, while exploring American history, society and creative expression from an African American perspective.


Address: 5200 Woodward Avenue Detroit, Michigan 48202

Hours: Closed today

Phone: (313) 833 -7900

Monday                  Closed

Tuesday                  9AM–4PM

Wednesday            9AM–4PM

Thursday                9AM–4PM

Friday                      9AM–10PM

Saturday                 10AM–5PM

Sunday                    10AM–5PM


Established in 2000, the GM Center for African American Art represents one of the first curatorial departments dedicated solely to African American art at any major art museum. The Center actively pursues acquisitions and plans exhibitions of the museum's growing permanent collection of African American art. Currently over 400 objects, in various media, are included in the collection. Most of these works date from the latter half of the 1900's, and the collection is especially strong in the graphic arts.

Some of the important artists featured in the collection are Benny Andrews, Romare Bearden, Robert Colescott, Roy DeCarava, Beauford Delaney, Robert Scott Duncanson, Sam Gilliam, Richard Hunt, Jacob Lawrence, Al Loving, Hughie Lee-Smith, Allie McGhee, Gordon Parks, Howardena Pindell, Martin Puryear, Alison Saar, Augusta Savage, Lorna Simpson, Henry Ossawa Tanner,Robert Thompson, Carrie Mae Weems, William T. Williams and Hale A. Woodruff.

Oceanic Art

The Department's Native American collection includes several exquisite sculptures, ceramics and textiles from North, Central and South America. Chronologically, the collection covers nearly 3,000 years of history. The earliest sculptures come to us from Olmec culture (900-600 BC) and include a beautiful jadite maskette. Two famous Peruvian examples–a miniature poncho and a tunic dated to 100 BC – 100AD and 800 – 1000 AD respectively–exemplify the spectacular textiles, clothing and dress accessories of this collection. Yet another significant aspect of the collection is an outstanding selection of painted clay effigy vessels and stone sculptures from subsequent pre-Columbian cultures.

The relatively more recent American Indian material comprises early religious artifacts, animal skin and bead-embroidered ceremonial attire, including full tunics, moccasins and shoulder bags, as well as a superb Navaho wool blanket dated to the 1870s. A Western Apache basket from the early 1900's and several historic pieces from the Chandler-Pohrt collection substantially increase the importance of the DIA in Native American art scholarship.


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