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Podcast: Why Greater Detroit Is So Segregated

Despite recent reports of an influx of white citizens returning to Detroit, largely young artists or empty-nesters, the metropolitan area remains one of the most segregated in the nation. The city proper is more than 80% African American, while the suburbs are overwhelmingly white. Many blame the social unrest of 1967, while others place culpability squarely on the shoulders of the late mayor Coleman Young.

However, University of Pennsylvania historian and sociologist Thomas Sugrue, who has spent years studying this very topic spoke with TIME and explained the complex history behind segregation in Greater Detroit. He says it began many decades ago and was systematic long before it became political.

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