DETROIT — On a cloudy Sunday afternoon, Janet Webster Jones, a lifelong Detroiter and owner of Source Booksellers, recalls a time when black Detroit residents were unable to invest in their own city. “Detroit went through a period where outside investors would not come to Detroit for reasons of race and fear of a place where people don’t look like them,” explained Jones. “And the banks wouldn’t give any money to the black and brown Detroiters who wanted to invest in the city.”
Jones felt that this had to do with representation in the bank system. “There was a time when we had absolutely no bank tellers of color,” she recalled. “Then Dr. Charles H. Wright went on a campaign to get banks to hire black people as tellers at least, which is the lowest level of employment.”
However, despite the adversities faced by blacks in Detroit, many still managed to create independent communities.