Brick + Beam Detroit

Racism in Property Ownership: Action Steps


Rewrite History

Whether you own a house currently or want to own a house in Detroit, when you receive the deed for a property, you should review it to further learn the history of your home - who owned it, the exact land description, and whether your home ever had a deed covenant. If you discover that your property had a deed covenant, while they are not currently enforceable with present-day laws, you can modify the deed to remove it. Consider this a step toward ensuring the past does not repeat itself and removing a layer of negativity from your property.



You can explore Detroit in a myriad of ways to further develop your understanding of its history and how that ties to property ownership. The Black Bottom neighborhood was  demolished for the freeway and the Lafayette Park Residential neighborhood as a part of the city’s urban renewal efforts ( Digitally explore the Black Bottom Archives ( The Black Bottom Archives preserves and shares “memories and experiences of those from the long-gone Black Bottom neighborhood.” You can “visit’ places from the past by utilizing their map, listening to oral history interviews, and more. 

If you’re interested in presentations or tours, The Black Scroll Network offers a range of tours including: “Black Paradise: The History of Black Bottom & Paradise Valley in Detroit” and “ Detroit Divided: The History of Segregation in Detroit Virtual Tour.” (



You can help preserve the past by sharing your gained knowledge of property ownership with friends and by preserving your home. Brick + Beam workshops can help you physically preserve your home, so that you can ensure its story is told for another hundred years. 

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