All The Way Down, This Time: Urban Agriculture and Food Justice in Detroit
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The redevelopment of Detroit as a colonial wasteland naturalizes the present and denies the racial capitalism that reproduces the crisis in an overwhelmingly black urban environment. The denial of local community organizations and small scale growers of ownership over lots they have stewarded with informal caretaking stands in stark contrast to the direct access white for-profit farming businesses have in negotiating with city planners to purchase bundled property. This kind of racial discrimination is not new;they are centuries old patterns of exclusion that legal scholar Cheryl Harris famously described in her 1993 article “Property as Whiteness.” Detroit’s urban agricultural community increase the values of the lots they operate on while increasing profits for white speculators. The thesis project explores a speculative decolonialized zone within Detroit; with Michigan Central Station as an escape from state endorsed racial capitalism/oppression and a flight into an architectural mountain built for autonomy.