Demolition Means Progress: Race, Class, and the Deconstruction of the American Dream in Flint, Michigan


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships , Mellon/ACLS Recent Doctoral Recipients Fellowships




This project analyzes the structural barriers to racial equality and economic opportunity in metropolitan Flint, Michigan, from World War II to the present. It unravels the complex cultural and policy bonds among racially segregated schools, neighborhoods, and workplaces and explores how Flint became an international symbol of the Rust Belt’s decline. The study consists of twelve chronologically and thematically arranged sections focusing on the residential color line, school segregation, employment discrimination, suburban development, urban renewal, and deindustrialization. Broadly, this project explains how local public policies intensified urban poverty and racial inequality and how social, political, and economic inequities came to be inscribed spatially upon Flint’s metropolitan landscape.