Section links

Black Bottom Archives


Black Bottom Archives website

The BBA website has five major components:

  • The Black Paper is a magazine with sections focused on topics like health, race & social justice, Black history and creative writing;
  • Black Arts supports and promotes local artists with featured interviews and shared content;
  • Black Bottom Radio, an original podcast hosted by young, Black Detroiters
  • Black-owned Business Directory with Black-owned businesses throughout Southeast Michigan
  • Black Bottom Book Club, where participants engage in virtual and in-person book club meetups

Black Bottom Archives Summer Archival Fellowship Program

The inaugural cohort of Black Bottom Fellows took place June 2019 - August 2019
The fellowship will be expanded and iterated upon in future summers.

Black Bottom historical archive project

In 2020, BBA will launch an interactive and participatory digital archive and map of oral histories, written stories, photographs and records to share the realities and experiences of Black Detroiters who experienced displacement in the historic Black Bottom neighborhood. The project will be focused on generating and sharing stories of former Black Bottom residents and family members. Visitors will be able to interact with the map, the content of the archive, and supplemental resources/curriculum. This archive will serve as a platform for sharing neighborhood histories, memories and reflections as visitors will also have an opportunity to contribute their content to the site.

This history was significant to BBA’s founding and is also a growing conversation across the city because of gentrification and redevelopment in the Downtown area where Black Bottom historically stood. Our community has told us that they are interested in an accessible repository of this history and its implications, and we have the community connections, resources and infrastructure to move it forward. We’re excited about this collection being curated in partnership with elders and their family members who lived in Black Bottom, community organizations like Black Bottom Street View, Detroit Public Library and Detroit Historical Society.