We Don't Want Them: A History of Detroit's Housing Segregation

We Don't Want Them: A History of Detroit's Housing Segregation

February 1 - 27, 2012

This traveling exhibit showcasing the history of housing segregation in Detroit provides a powerful backdrop for local dialogue on issues of difference, structural discrimination and immigration. Through reproductions of historic documents and photographs, viewers will learn about the causes and effects of residential segregation.


During 2011, the Great Michigan Read program provided thousands of Michiganians, especially grade school children, the opportunity to read Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age, by Kevin Boyle, that tells the story of African American physician Ossian Sweet and the chain of events that followed after he purchased a home for his family in an all-white Detroit neighborhood in 1925.


The exhibition focuses on the metropolitan Detroit region, and prominently features the Ossian Sweet trials. It also places Arc of Justice in a broader context of policies and practices that limited where some could live, thus impacting their quality of life. Families that read the book and view the exhibition together are guaranteed to enjoy a quality learning experience.  For your convenience, the book is available for sale in the Museum Store.


We Don’t Want Them is part of the Great Michigan Read, which is presented by the Michigan Humanities Council with support from Meijer and the National Endowment for the Humanities. This exhibit was produced in partnership with the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion.