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Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics

Volume 29, Issue 1, Spring/Summer 2009

Gloria Albrecht
Pages 3-23
DOI: 10.5840/jsce200929127

Detroit: Still the "Other" America

THIS ESSAY PRESENTS A PARTICULAR HISTORY OF DETROIT, ONE THAT, BY analyzing the sites and uses of unshared social power, provides an ethical analysis of the processes by which Detroit has become the poorest big city in the United States. Of necessity this story must weave together a variety of elements: economic forces and the theories that justify them, public policies and the politics that underlie them, white racism, sexism, and the spirit of resistance that found its voice in the streets, in radical philosophic and economic theories, in union activism, and in some Christian churches. In this history can be heard the voices of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, the liberal cry for civil rights, and the radical demand for workers' rights. Today, as these same destructive economic and political choices reach into the homes of Detroit's and other cities' white suburbanites, these Detroit voices prophetically challenge business as usual.

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