Alexis Oustinoff



Thomas Sugrue. The Origins of the Urban Crisis; Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit. 1996.


Why did so many African Americans come to Detroit during and after the war?


How did racism affect Detroit’s housing supply?


What effect did redlining have on the African American community?


What result did the expressway building program have on the African American community and housing shortage?


What did federal programs such as the FHA and HOLC do for minority housing conditions? What did they do for whites?


What was unique about the Eight Mile neighborhood that allowed residents to fight back against government agencies as well as black leaders and prevent the building public housing projects on their homes?


Why were whites opposed to federal housing projects? Why did the Sojourner Truth Project erupt in a riot?


In Detroit, as well as in other cities, housing projects were ultimately deemed a failure, why?


Despite the large numbers of minorities looking for work, many employers resisted hiring them for several reasons, what were they?  What does Sugrue attribute to the variations in percent of African American workers among the various automobile factories?


By being excluded from many unions and trade groups African Americans were kept in what types of jobs?


What were some of the causes of the exodus of manufacturing jobs from the rust belt in the 1950s?


What did industrial decentralization do to labor dynamics? To the city of Detroit?


Why was the government in favor of decentralization?


What doe Sugrue call the “UAW’s lost opportunity”? Should the unions have tried to do more to prevent job loss?


The Fair Employment Practices law was so staunchly opposed and took so long to get passed yet once passed was not as effective in ending discrimination as it was hoped. Why?


Sugrue describes the Sipes v. McGhee suit as a case of a “pioneer” couple; did they and others like them set out to pioneer open housing or was it a result of shifting economic status?


Who were blockbusting speculators? What did they do to neighborhoods?


How did Detroit’s demographics change in the 1950s? What issues arose when blacks took over formerly white neighborhoods? How did growing class distinctions play a part?


What was the homeowners’ movement? Why did they and other anti-liberal groups want to return to residential segregation?


Were politicians like Wallace, Cobo and Poindexter creating this threat or capitalizing on it?


Why did some neighborhood fall to violence over the incoming of African Americans while others did not or experienced only mild or short lived opposition? What role did class, religion, and ethnicity play?


Why did women and children take such a prominent role in protesting neighborhood integration?


Was Sugrue compelling in his argument that many factors contributed to the decline of postwar Detroit?