Controversial billboard addresses gentrification in downtown Detroit

Posted at 11:27 PM, Jul 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-17 23:27:36-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — A controversial billboard atop the Queens bar in downtown Detroit is part of an art exhibition that is addressing gentrification in the city.

Pittsburgh artist Alisha Wormsley created the billboard which reads: "There are black people in the future."

"People feel left out when you say one group," Wormsley said, "But that's not the purpose. The purpose is to lift marginalized people up so everybody has a future."

It's part of an art exhibition titled "Manifest Destiny." The curator Ingrid LaFleur doesn't anticipate any backlash.

"I thought this would be the perfect way to begin that conversation in a highly gentrified space," LaFleur told Action News.

However, the billboard was reportedly removed from above a Pittsburgh building last year after concerns were raised.

The company who had it taken down reportedly said it violated an agreement lease prohibiting distasteful, offensive, erotic, or political content.

The owner of the building in Detroit did not want to comment on the art installation. The billboard is schedule to be on display until Sept. 7.

Organizers will also sell yard signs of the display. The funds will go towards sending young school children to Ghana.

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