In 1993, Detroit police officers killed Malice Green in a predominantly African American neighborhood and Jose Iturralde in Southwest Detroit, a predominantly Latino section of the city. Only the Malice Green incident resulted in a massive outcry, indicating the lack of attention by the media and the political system to problems of police misconduct and violence in Latino neighborhoods, as well as other marginalized communities such as LGBTQ residents and Arab Americans. In particular, the history and culutre of Southwest Detroit reveal the city’s diversity beyond the black-white divide.
Detroit's Racial Demographics in the 1990s
The concentration of Latino residents is represented by the purple dots is SW
In the 1990s the total population of Detroit residents was 1,027,974 million. The graph above highlights this and it highlights the individual communities that made up Detroit. The graph, however, does not highlight residents that are LGBTQ or Arab-American or other identities besides race that police constantly targeted in the 1990s. This in itself is an archival silence that we ran in to. Arab-American were categorized in the 1990 Census as white, so it is difficult to visually see where Arab-Americans where concentrated. As for the LGBTQ community, we had no luck in finding credited sources that document the LGBTQ population in Detroit. The demographics of Detroit for years showed that the majority of residents were African-American.However, there were pockets of communities that held different identities, such as the Hispanic, Arab, LGBTQ, communities. During the early time period there was an increase reporting on instances of police violence towards these communities. We can’t say there was an increase in instances towards these communities due to us being limited to only focusing on the years 1990-1993, however, it is not crazy to think that such cases happened before this time period. We focus a bit more on the Hispanic community in the Southwest area due to the amounts of papers, documents, articles, cases that our group found. A point that also needs to be touched upon are the pockets of Hispanic individuals around, not just in Detroit, but the Metropolitan Detroit Area.
Sources for this page
"Mexican Ethnic Festival, August 4, 1989" 1989, Detroit Historical Society, https://detroithistorical.pastperfectonline.com/archive/8F865777-09BC-4560-BC24-612931863306
"Arab World Festival, June 23, 1989" 1989, Detroit Historical Society, https://detroithistorical.pastperfectonline.com/archive/053E399C-EF6A-493A-B166-383520869832
“1990 Census of Population General Population Characteristics Michigan.” United States Census, www2.census.gov/library/publications/decennial/1990/cp-1/cp-1-24.pdf.