Segregation: One of Detroit’s Biggest Imports

By Pete Saunders Detroit has had an outsized impact on American history. People around the world are familiar with its contributions to the auto industry in particular and manufacturing in general. And Detroit has had an impact on music—from Motown rhythm and blues to rock, jazz, gospel, and electronic dance music—that is unparalleled. Detroit has […]

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The Kapanowski Challenge: The Intersection of Sexuality, Labor Activism, and Deindustrialization on the Shop Floor

By James McQuaid On May 10, 1973, Gary Kapanowski walked into work and was greeted by orange and black fliers papered throughout the plant denouncing him as “a faggot,” asking workers at the plant, “Do you want a faggot to be your chairman of the shop committee?”[i] Kapanowski had worked at the Briggs Beautyware stamping […]

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Remaking Urban History

[Editor’s note: In anticipation of UHA 2020 to be held in Detroit, October 8-11, 2020, The Metropole is featuring Detroit as our Metro of the Month for January. See here for the CFP and here for info about and link to the UHA spreadsheet. The latter is meant to help urbanists find prospective panels and […]

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Beyond the Urban Undead: A Bibliography of the Motor City

[Editor’s note: In anticipation of UHA 2020 to be held in Detroit, October 8-11, 2020, The Metropole is featuring Detroit as our Metro of the Month for January. See here for the CFP and here for info about and link to the UHA spreadsheet. The latter is meant to help urbanists find prospective panels and […]

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Becoming Local: (Hi)Stories of “Nigerians” in Accra

By Victoria Okoye As a Nigerian-American, Accra’s connections to Nigeria stand out to me as insights into the deeply inter-regional character of the city. When I first came to Accra a decade ago, I identified the present, perhaps most obvious, traces of these connections: the Nigerians, like my uncle-in-law, moving through and living in the […]

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Colonial Governance, Modernization, and the Process of Informalization in Accra

By Jennifer Hart The British colonial government moved their administration from Cape Coast to Accra in 1877 – a date which often marks the beginning of British consolidation of colonial rule in the Gold Coast. The motivations for the move were multiple. Protests over the imposition of new taxes and discontent over the abolition of […]

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Placing and Spacing the Dead in Colonial Accra

By Sarah Balakrishnan In present-day Kaneshie, in the centre of the sprawling seaside city of Accra, lies a cemetery known as Awudome. It is a massive plot of land. Once it had been the private estate of the mantse (chief) of Otublohum, gifted by the wulomo (priest) of Korle for acts of bravery during the […]

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An Obscure Afro-Brazilian “Colony” in Ghana: Accra’s Tabon Community

By Hermann W. von Hesse In the summer of 2017, I returned from Madison, Wisconsin to Accra – my hometown and Ghana’s capital since 1877 – to do my pre-dissertation research. Besides my main dissertation interests, I had since childhood been interested in the music and religion of Accra’s Afro-Brazilian descended community. Though not of […]

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Whose Style? Taste, Class, and Power in Accra’s Architecture

By Kuukuwa Manful It is commonly thought that Accra, like many other African cities, has an architectural “identity crisis”[1] because “if you look at the city, there’s nothing that tells you where we were, where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going.”[2] This view, echoed in both academic and popular discourse, is held […]

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