‘Hood Closed to Gentrifiers’ sign goes viral after appearing in Detroit neighborhood
Artist-activist Bryce Detroit says he has plans to erect 22 signs plus launch a line of t-shirts and merchandise.
A street sign reading “Hood Closed to Gentrifiers,” erected in a transitional Detroit neighborhood, has gone viral.
The notice, that looks like a construction sign, was created by an artist-activist who goes by the name Bryce Detroit.
He put the sign up in his North End neighborhood, which is rapidly changing, across from a historic bar called The Apex.
“It’s my own personal policy in regards to land-use in my neighborhood,” Detroit told local news outlet WDIV. “Folks who are foreign to our cultural norms. Folks who are foreign to our neighborhood. In those scenarios, we have experienced people who come under the guise of support.”
He said police took the sign down, but for Detroit — a 2017 Knight Arts Challenge award winner and 2019 New Museum Ideas Cities Fellow — it represents the start of an anti-gentrification movement.
He describes North End as a “neighborhood that is steeped in history, steeped in legacy.”
North End was a middle-class neighborhood of Black professionals and shop owners, once home to a thriving cultural scene. The community has declined over the years, as recession struck and many of the city’s manufacturing businesses closed.
The proximity of the neighborhood to downtown and its large homes have made it appealing to new residents.
Detroit says he has plans to erect 22 more of the “Hood Closed to Gentrifiers” signs across North End and to launch a line of t-shirts and other merchandise.
His efforts found social-media support.
“I’m going to give this a 10, we need to provide affordable housing. Back when Little Caesars arena was built the deal was to build affordable housing and they never did. Now we have many loft apts. let’s leave the neighborhoods alone,” one person wrote on Twitter.
Another user commented, “Exactly… building bigger houses for millions of dollars or half a million dollars that people in that neighborhood cannot afford doesn’t help unless you sell those houses dirt cheap to the community members… Lift ppl up.”