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Muslim American CityGender and Religion in Metro Detroit$
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Alisa Perkins

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781479828012

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479828012.001.0001

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The Making of a Muslim American City

The Making of a Muslim American City

The Histories of African Americans, Poles, and Muslims in Hamtramck

(p.29) 1 The Making of a Muslim American City
Muslim American City

Alisa Perkins

NYU Press

This chapter situates the rising prominence of Bangladeshi and Yemeni Americans in Hamtramck within an account of the city’s development since its founding as a township in 1798. Beginning with a history of African Americans, who have the most enduring presence in Hamtramck of the groups included in the chapter, the chapter then analyzes the experiences of Polish Americans in Hamtramck, who were the dominant majority for many years. The chapter considers how institutional racism, aimed most directly against African Americans—but also affecting all immigrant groups who were not “white on arrival”—has influenced power structures at municipal, state, and national levels and impacted the development of social relations in Hamtramck. It considers how changes in Hamtramck connect to national socioeconomic fluctuations, internal migration, and immigration reform, as well as regional patterns of Muslim American incorporation found throughout the metro Detroit area.

Keywords:   Bangladeshi Americans, Yemeni Americans, African Americans, Polish Americans, institutional racism, social relations, internal migration, immigration reform, Muslim American incorporation

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