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The Black Bottom Bibliography

News and Magazine Articles

The Atlanta Daily World – founded 1928 in Atlanta, Georgia – still active

“Group Gets New Hotel in Detroit.” The Atlanta Daily World. Sep 4, 1957, p. 2.

“Paradise Valley’s Most Generous Man Dies at Ripe Old Age of 62.” The Atlanta Daily World. Nov 27, 1937, p. 6.

The Baltimore Afro-American – founded in 1892 – still active

“1955 Hotel Men Of The Year.” The Baltimore Afro-American.  Nov 19, 1955, p. A3.

“2 Killed As 40 Flee 5-Alarm Hotel Fire: Detroit blaze guts old-time nite-spot.” The Baltimore Afro-American. Mar 16, 1963, p. 19.

“Achievement Awarded.”  The Baltimore Afro-American, May 11, 1940, p. 23.

“Arson Charged in Housing Dispute: Detroit Homes Owned by Watson Company -- OFFICER ACCUSED -- 2 Admit Getting $85 for Burning 3 Homes.” The Baltimore Afro-American. Oct 14, 1944, p. 3.

“Bee Dew Leads Again.” The Baltimore Afro-American. February 7, 1942, p. 9.

Bolden, Frank E. (Detroit Bureau) “Gotham Hotel in Detroit Gains Nationwide Fame.” The Pittsburgh Courier.  Mar 8, 1947.

“Bowling ‘Em Over at Detroit’s 666.” The Baltimore Afro-American. Mar. 24, 1945.

Cowans, Russell. “Around the Motor City.” The Baltimore Afro-American, Nov 25, 1933, p. 22.

-----. “Depression Rampant in Detroit Loop.” The Baltimore Afro-American, Apr 30, 1932, p. 10.

“Detroit Cosmetic Company Doing Rushing Business.” The Baltimore Afro-American, April 04, 1942, p. 19.

“Detroit Lawyer, 78, Active Until Death.” The Baltimore Afro-American. Apr 27, 1963, p. 19.

Garnett, Henry D. “Detroit News--Michigan State News.” The Chicago Defender. Nov 10, 1923, p. 20.

“New Home of Beauty.” The Baltimore Afro-American. Feb 13, 1937, p. 14.

“Paradise Valley Yule Fund Aids 563 Families.” The Baltimore Afro-American (1893-1988); Jan 4, 1941; p. 22.

“Rhapsody Heads Busy Show Week in Detroit.” The Baltimore Afro-American, Apr 23, 1932, p. 19.

The Chicago Defender – founded 1905 – still active (online since 2019)

“Atwell Opens Recreation School in Detroit June 29.”  The Chicago Defender. Jun 20, 1931, p. 2.

“Chester Rentie Dies In Detroit.” The Chicago Defender.  Apr 19, 1952, p. 9.

“Cop Hires Youths to Burn Negro Homes.” The Chicago Defender. Oct 14, 1944, pp. 1, 4.

“Court May Close Carlton Plaza.” The Chicago Defender. Apr 30, 1955, p. 1.

“Dedicate New Y.W.C.A Building in Detroit: Ceremonies Mark Opening...” The Chicago Defender, Jan 7, 1933, p. 2.

“Detroit Community House Celebrates Its First Year.”  The Chicago Defender. Nov 1, 1930, p. 13.

“Detroit Dedicates New Y. M. C. A. Building.” The Chicago Defender, Apr 4, 1925, p. 1.

“Detroit Gets Be-Bop Fever At El Sino Club.” The Chicago Defender. Jun 7, 1947, p. 19.

“Detroit’s 1st Paradise Valley Mayor Dies.” The Chicago Defender, May 2, 1942, p. 7.

“Detroit Trade Association Plans Five-Day Exhibit.”  The Chicago Defender.  April 20, 1935 p. 3

“Name New Hospital at Detroit in Honor of Poet.” The Chicago Defender (Big Weekend Edition). June 7, 1919, p. 1.

“New Lucy Thurman Branch Plans of Detroit Y. W. C. A.” The Chicago Defender, Nov 28, 1931, p. 6.

“Views of New $150,000 Trinity Hospital, Detroit.” The Chicago Defender. Oct. 8, 1938, p. 7.

Detroit Free Press

“Carlton Plaza Hotel Has Informal Opening.”  The Detroit Free Press. June 1, 1924, p. 7.

”High Profile Sunnie Wilson: Entertainer keeps a song in his Heart.” Detroit Free Press, August 23, 1987, p. 3.

Lubens, Pauline. “Shining Among the Stars.” Detroit Free Press, February 28, 1997, p. 58.

“Obituaries: C. Henri Lewis, Jr.” The Detroit Free Press. Mar 19, 1952, p. 14.

“Oriole Becomes a Fine Church: New Glory for Old Theater.” The Detroit Free Press. Mar 11, 1963, p. 3.

Sterns, Patty LaNoue. “Detroit Pays Tribute to One of its Legends.”  Detroit Free Press, March 24, 1999, p. 61.

“Vivian Hill; ran beauty school.” Detroit Free Press,  October 13, 1980, p. 19.

Detroit News

Baulch, Vivian M., and Patricia Zacharias. “The 1943 Detroit Race Riots.” Detroit News, February 11, 1999.

-----. “Paradise Valley and Black Bottom.” Detroit News, February 11, 1999.

Hodges, Michael. “Saturday tour to celebrate Detroit’s early black architects.” The Detroit News. Oct 9, 2019. Accessed July 19, 2020.

Mullen, RoNeisha, and Dale Rich. “Detroit's Gotham Hotel Exuded glamour.” The Detroit News.  Dec 31, 1999.

Jet Magazine – founded 1951 – still active (digital since 2014)

Edward Davis, first Black auto dealer, honored in Detroit.” Jet; Vol. 95, Iss. 9,  (Feb 1, 1999): 46-48.

Edward Davis, first Black Auto dealer, dies in Detroit.” Jet; Vol. 95, Iss. 25,  (May 24, 1999): 32.

“Edward Davis, 88, First Black To Own A US New-Car Dealership.” Chicago Tribune. May 06, 1999, p. 10.

The Michigan Chronicle -- founded 1936 -- still active

“Announce Opening Of Cancer Center.” The Michigan Chronicle. Feb. 8, 1947, p. 2.

Coleman, Ken. “Michigan Chronicle Turns 80.”  Michigan Chronicle.  Apr 20, 2016, p. A1.

Moore, Peggy A. “Paradise Valley and its people.” Michigan Chronicle. Sep. 24, 1997, p. 1.

Talley, Scott. “Black Bottom Was Tops.” Michigan Chronicle Online, July 16, 2008.

Wartman, Charles J. “Bradby New NAACP President.” The Michigan Chronicle. Dec. 21, 1946, pp. 1, 23.

The New Journal and Guide (formerly Norfolk Journal and Guide) – founded 1900, active

“Graduating Class of Bee-Dew College: Hundreds At Bee-Dew Graduation Exercises.” The Norfolk Journal and Guide, Nov 11, 1941, p. 6.

“Modern Hospital Opened in Detroit.” New Journal and Guide. Oct. 22, 1938, p. 2.

The New York City Amsterdam Star-News -- founded 1909 -- still active

“Detroit Gets Legit House.” New York Amsterdam Star-News. Jan 10, 1942, p. 16

Herb Boyd. “The Medical Northcross Family of Detroit.” New York Amsterdam News. Jun 22, 2017.

“Robert L. Bradby, Detroit Pastor, Dies.” New York Amsterdam News. June 15, 1946, p. 6.

“Sponsor Benefit for Willa Mae Lane.” New York Amsterdam Star-News. Oct. 17, 1942, p. 10.

The Philadelphia Tribune – founded 1884 (oldest Black newspaper in US) – still active

Young, Beulah. “Detroit Housewives Use the System of Cooperative Buying.”  Philadelphia Tribune.  Sep 24, 1931, p. 5.

The Pittsburgh Courier (and New Pittsburgh Courier) – founded in 1910, active until 1966

“Atty. J.A. Brown Dies in Detroit.” Pittsburgh Courier. Feb. 2, 1963, p. 5.

“Claude Trenier At Detroit’s 666 Club.” The Pittsburgh Courier. Mar. 28, 1942, p. 20.

“Detroit Baptist Church Holds Centennial Exercises.” The Pittsburgh Courier. Apr. 4, 1936, p. A10.

Fields, Marian E. “Detroit, Michigan.” The Pittsburgh Courier. Jul 12, 1930, p. A9.

Poston, U.S. “‘Bradby Saved Negro in Detroit,’ Says U.S. Poston.” The Pittsburgh Courier. Nov. 19, 1927, p. 2.

“The Robert Windrows Are Sparkling Hosts in Detroit.” New Pittsburgh Courier. Dec 23, 1961, p. 13.

Other Articles

Barnes, Tamara. “Buying, Boosting, and Building with the National Housewives’ League.” Michigan History. March/April 2013.

Bradby, Reverend Robert” in the Encyclopedia of Detroit. Detroit Historical Society. Accessed August 20, 2020.

Bulanda, George. “The Way It Was – Housewives’ League of Detroit, 1932.” Hour Detroit.  March 8, 2017.

Current, Gloster. “Paradise Valley: A Famous and Colorful Part of Detroit as Seen Through Eyes of an Insider.” Detroit Magazine (June 1946): 32-34.

Detroit Journal; When Life in the Projects Was Good.” New York Times, July 31, 1991.

Dunbar Hospital.”  Detroit: A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary. National Park Service.

Erickson, Cheryl Brent. “Dreamers: The friendship of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Walter Reuther.”

McGrail, Lucas. “The Carlton.” HistoricDetroit.Org. Accessed 19 July 2020.

“Michigan: Decline in Detroit.” Time Magazine, October 27, 1961.

“Night Clubs--Vaudeville: Detroit Club Expands Shows.” The Billboard. March 21, 1942, p. 12.

“Night Clubs--Vaudeville: El Sino New Detroit Spot.” The Billboard. Jun 21, 1947, p. 44.

Piper, Matthew. “Designing the Future: The Legacy of Black Architects in Detroit.” Curbed Detroit. July 5, 2019. Accessed July 18, 2020.

Underground Railroad” in the Encyclopedia of Detroit. Detroit Historical Society. Accessed August 20, 2020.

Academic Articles

Castellanos, Jorge. “Black Slavery in Detroit.” Journal of Regional History 6, no. 1 (1982): 54.

Fry, Charles Luther. “The Negro in the United States—A Statistical Statement,” in “The American Negro,” special issue, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 140 (1928): 26-35.

Harp, Andrea S., and Alicia Di Rado. “Coleman A. Young: Social and Political Powerbroker.” Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, Wayne State University, April 17, 2001. (Original link)

Hicks, Mary. “The Coverage of World War I by the Radical Black Press, 1917-1919.” Iowa Historical Review (2007): 57-82.

Johnson, Charles S. “Incidence Upon the Negroes.” American Journal of Sociology 40, no. 6 (1935): 737-745.

Landon, Fred. “The Negro Migration to Canada after the Passing of the Fugitive Slave Act.” Journal of Negro History 5, no. 1 (1920): 22-36.

Palmer, Dewey H. “Moving North: Migration of Negros during World War I.” Phylon 28 no. 1 (first quarter, 1967): 52-62.

Peterson, Joyce Shaw. “Black Automobile Workers in Detroit, 1910-1930.” Journal of Negro History 64, no. 3 (1979): 177-190.

Reid, Ira De A. “A Critical Summary: The Negro on the Home Front in World Wars I and II.” Journal of Negro Education 64, no. 3 (1943): 511-520.

Scott, Emmett J. “Letters of Negro Migrants of 1916-1918.” Journal of Negro History 4, no. 3 (1919): 290-340.

Washington, Forrester B. “Deluxe Summer Camp for Colored Children.” Journal of Negro Life 9 (1921): 303-306.

Weaver, Robert C. “Detroit and Negro Skill.” Phylon 4, no. 2 (second quarter, 1943): 131-143.

White, Horace. “Who Owns the Negro Churches?” Christian Century (February 1938): 176.

Wood, L. Hollingsworth. “The Urban League Movement.” Journal of Negro History 9, no. 2 (1924): 117-126.

Wye, Christopher G. “The New Deal and the Negro Community: Toward a Broader Conceptualization.” Journal of American History 59, no. 3 (1972): 621-639.


Borden, Ernest H. Images of America: Detroit’s Paradise Valley. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2011.

Boyle, Kevin. Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2004.

Capeci, Dominic J., Jr. Race Relations in Wartime Detroit: The Sojourner Truth Housing Controversy of 1942. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1991.

Capeci, Dominic J., Jr. and Martha Wilkerson. Layered Violence: The Detroit Rioters of 1943. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 1991.

Cohassey, John, and Sunnie Wilson. Toast of the Town: The Life and Times of Sunnie Wilson. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1998.

Detroit Black Writers Guild, The.  Paradise Valley Days: A Photo Album Poetry Book of Detroit, 1930’s to 1950’s. Detroit: The Guild, 1998.

Goodwin, Doris Kearns. No Ordinary Time. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994.

Haynes, George Edmund. Negro Newcomers in Detroit. New York: Arno Press and New York Times, 1969.

Katzman, David M. Before the Ghetto: Black Detroit in the Nineteenth Century. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1973.

Latzman, Elaine Moon. Untold Tales, Unsung Heroes: An Oral History of Detroit’s African American Community, 1918-1967. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1994. (Contains invaluable, key interviews with Black Bottom / Paradise Valley business owners from the 1940s and 1950s.)

Loomis, Bill. On this Day in Detroit History. Charleston: The History Press, 2016.

Martin, Elizabeth Anne. Detroit and the Great Migration 1916-1929. Ann Arbor: Michigan Historical Collections / Bentley Historical Library, 1993.

Mays, Benjamin E. The Negro’s Church. New York: Institute of Social and Religious Research, 1933.

Moore, Peggy A. Paradise Valley Days: A Photo Album Poetry Book of Black Detroit, 1930’s to 1950’s. Detroit: Detroit Black Writer’s Guild, Inc., 1998.

Sugrue, Thomas. The Origins of the Urban Crisis. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996. (More of a sociological book but gives important background info on the ways white supremacist systemic racism led to Black poverty in Detroit. Contains in-depth discussion of Sojourner Truth Housing Projects and white backlash.)

Thomas, Richard W. Life for Us Is What We Make It: Building Black Community in Detroit, 1915-1945. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1991.

Trotter, Joe William, ed. The Great Migration in Historical Perspective: New Dimensions of Race, Class, and Gender. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1991.

Trotter, Joe William, and Earl Lewis. African Americans in the Industrial Age: A Documentary History, 1915-1945. Boston: Northeastern University, 1996.

Williams, Jeremy. Images of America: Detroit--The Black Bottom Community. Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2009.

Wolcott, Victoria W. Remaking Respectability: African American in Interwar Detroit. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2001.


Bell, Ernest G. “History of the Black Church in Detroit as a Study in American Public Address.” Ph.D. diss., Wayne State University, 1987.

Cohassey, John. “Down on Hastings Street: A Study of Social and Cultural Changes in a Detroit Community, 1941-1955.” Master’s thesis, Wayne State University, 1993.

Conley, Darlene C. “Driven and pursued: Black migrant detroit an analysis of the neighborhoods black bottom and paradise valley.” Master’s thesis, Morgan State University, 2016.

Harmon, Julia Robinson. “Reverend Robert L. Bradby: Establishing the Kingdom of God Among Women, Migrants, and Workers, 1910-1946.” Ph.D. thesis, Michigan State University, 2002.

Houtman, Loren Henry, Response of Detroit Public Schools to Immigrant Groups. Michigan State University, Ed.D., 1965, p. 171.

Hunter, Gary Jerome. “’Don’t Buy Where You Can’t Work’: Black Urban Boycott Movements During the Depression, 1929-1941.” Ph.D. diss., University of Michigan, 1977.

Murage, Njere Wa. “Organizational History of the Detroit Urban League, 1916-1960.” Ph.D. diss., Michigan State University, 1993.

Williams, Jeremy. “The Rise and Fall of Black Bottom.” Master’s Thesis, Prescott College, 2011.


Grover, John, and Yvette Van Der Velde, A School District in Crisis: Detroit’s Public Schools 1942-2015. Loveland Technologies. Accessed July 19, 2020.