Detroit, Michigan - Billionaire developers in Detroit have proposed capturing almost one billion dollars in public money to fund their newest project. The deal is far from sealed, but organized community opposition will be necessary to prevent approvals from sailing through. In a majority Black and Brown, working-class city experiencing an unprecedented housing crisis, billionaire developers are seeking to siphon public funds that should be used to build public housing and expand community resources to subsidize luxury apartments, hotels, and office space. Community members have spoken out against publicly funding the development scheme but have yet to unite an opposition capable of stopping it or even winning major concessions. A proposed development, to be constructed in the heart of Downtown Detroit, the long-promised but never realized “District Detroit”, is seeking nearly 800 million dollars in public subsidies and tax breaks.
Bethesda, MD - Tucked behind a McDonalds on River Road, a major thoroughfare, is a deep pit, the site of an African cemetery that is being desecrated to build a self-storage facility. For four years, members of the community and supporters, the Bethesda African Cemetery Coalition, have been fighting to stop the commercial project and create a museum instead to educate about the horrors that happened here. Today, over 100 people converged at the construction site. They sang songs, held a ceremony to honor the dead whose bodies are being desecrated and placed flowers on the fence surrounding the construction site.
A self storage facility is being built on the grounds of what is believed to have been an African cemetery where first there were slave death camps and industrial slave breeding operations and then a thriving community of freed slaves that was displaced through gentrification. Residents of the community have been calling for archaeological investigation and the erection of a museum to teach this local history, but they have been denied even having their own black archaeologist allowed in to examine the soil.