Detroit Sound Conservancy and Black Bottom Archives present
a panel discussion about the impact of interstate systems on Detroit.
Sunday February 26th 2pm at
Main | Detroit Public Library 5201 Woodward Avenue Detroit, MI 48202
Community advocates and preservation organizations Detroit Sound Conservancy (DSC) and Black Bottom Archives (BBA) present a panel and community discussion on the destructive impact of the interstate highway system on Detroit’s past and present; and the opportunities for community preservation and storytelling to be engaged as innovative tools to support a reparative process for impacted communities. The expansion of “I-94 Modernization Project” and the “I-375 Reconnecting Communities Project”, both speak to a need for Detroit communities past and present, to be honored and considered in development plans if we are to build towards the more just and liberated future that Detroiters deserve.
The I-375 Reconnecting Communities Project seeks to redevelop I-375, the highway that was built through Hastings Street, the heart line of Black Bottom; and was responsible for the mass displacement of thousands of Detroiters, and the inevitable destruction of a historic community. This redevelopment project is an opportunity for us to incorporate the lessons we’ve learned about the consequences of displacement, and honor communities past and present as we build towards a better future. BBA seeks to explore the following questions: What can a reparative process with the Black Bottom community look like as part of this project? And what role can community archiving and storytelling play in this process?
United Sound Systems Recording Studios, (United Sound) an internationally significant Black historic site where world-altering music was recorded is in imminent danger of the ongoing interstate I-94 Modernization Project. United Sound is currently owned by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). Since 2012, DSC has been the leading advocate for United Sound’s historical legacy. DSC spearheaded the process to create a historic district for the site and then helped raise the funds for a two-sided Michigan Historical Marker. Both of these efforts pressured the MDOT to change its mind about the necessity to demolish the property for the expansion of I-94. However, today, the struggle to protect and defend United Sound Systems continues!