Statement of allyship and Solidarity with BBSA and Black Lives Matter

Jun 18, 2020

Detroit R&B recognizes the long history of systemic racism in the U.S. towards Black Americans, most recently seen in the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Sean Reed, and countless others. Detroit in particular has a painful history of racial tension and we encourage everyone to read the below books about race relations in Detroit and how the city's culture has been shaped by its Black community:

  • Black Detroit: A People's History of Self Determination, by Herb Boyd
  • Dancing in the Street: Motown and the Cultural Politics of Detroit, by Suzanne E. Smith
  • The Dawn of Detroit, by Tiya Miles

Please consider purhcasing books from these Black-owned bookstores in Detroit: Source City and Detroit City Books.

As we reflect on these events in Minnesota, Georgia, and Kentucky and responses to them throughout the country, Detroit R&B recognizes that emotions are raw. The arc of justice must support marginalized communities, and that requires acknowledging our nation's failings and committing to meaningful and lasting change. We must do better.

Detroit R&B stands with BBSA and the broader Black Lives Matter movement. Our Board is reassessing how we can better showcase the work of Detroit’s Black entrepreneurs, politicians, non-profit leaders, and artists through our programming for the 2020-2021 academic year. Specific actions our club will take:

  • Engage with and highlight the work of Detroit-based Black business and community leaders through events hosted in Ann Arbor and Detroit.
  • Donate club resources to minority-focused causes aimed at supporting Black communities in Detroit.
  • Donate $250 to Color of Change.
  • Plan more opportunities for Ross students to engage with the city of Detroit; collaborate with BBSA on programming.
  • Share relevant news and resources in our club newsletter, highlighting the work of leaders and organizations seeking to combat systemic racism.

Additionally, for those based in Ann Arbor this summer, here is a list of Black-owned businesses in Detroit that you can support during these challenging times.

If you have feedback or suggestions as to how we can better support Black communities in Detroit, please reach out to our Board.

In solidarity,

The Detroit R&B Board

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