The Willow Run Bomber Plant’s rise to national prominence made it a natural target in attempts to draw attention to the housing woes of African Americans living in Detroit. The opening of Willow Lodge presented the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) an opportunity to oppose segregated public housing and to argue that every public war housing project should be open to all regardless of race. Both white and black residents of Ypsilanti Township also supported the housing of African Americans in Willow Lodge. The issue over mixed-race housing at Willow Run came to a head in the summer of 1943, when a spate of interracial violence that got started in the suburbs exploded in Detroit, leading to the deadliest race riot of the war years. This chapter examines the response of the federal government to the race riots in Detroit, focusing on the initiatives of the National Housing Agency and the Federal Public Housing Authority. It also looks at the Detroit Victory Council and the creation of the Willow Village for black families.
Keywords: housing, Willow Run Bomber Plant, African Americans, Detroit, Willow Lodge, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, mixed-race housing, interracial violence, race riots, Detroit Victory Council
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