Despite The City Being Majority Black, There Were No Black-Owned Businesses Included In NY Times’ Detroit Lions Boost Report | Essence

The omission was called out by veteran HuffPost reporter Phil Lewis after he noted that the New York Times overlooked Black businesses in its list.

Portrait of smiling man wearing apron standing in pottery shop in front of shelves with ceramics

The New York Times (NYT) recently released a report highlighting Detroit local businesses’ economic impact of the Lions playoff run leading to the NFL Super Bowl. The problem is, there were no Black-owned businesses included despite the city being majority Black.

Phil Lewis, a trusted social media figure and reporter for the Huffington Post, called out the newspaper’s omission of any Black owned businesses in the report despite the city being 77% Black. In his newsletter, What I’m Reading, Lewis pointed out that Chimika Harris, a manager at Cutter’s Bar & Grill, spoke with a reporter from NYT but none of her comments were included in the report. Lewis’s article underscored that the outlet’s report completely ignored the Detroit’s Black business ecosystem despite playing a valuable role in the city’s bustling restaurant scene.

Ken Coleman, a senior reporter at Detroit non-profit news outlet Michigan Advance wrote in an X post, “Detroit is 77% Black. 57% of the NFL is Black. Not one African-American-owned business mentioned in this New York Times piece.”

Lewis also spoke with Dennis Archer Jr., who owns Central Kitchen + Bar. Archer shared how the glaring omission undergirds a pervasive history of racial inequity the city’s Black community has faced for years. “Because the city is majority African-American, because of the history of how the city became that way, and because of the number of strong purveyors here, it’s unfortunate when we are not equally represented in the narrative because we are such a strong part of the foundation, the backbone, and story here.”

As Black Enterprise points out, in 2021, Detroit was named the most segregated city in the country, due to the stark racial distribution of residents in the city.

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