Detroit was once one of America’s greatest cities, but the tumultuous events of the last century have had devastating effects. It has long been a city of conflicting extremes - during the Civil War, it was both a haven for runaway slaves and an area of growing discrimination. The auto industry created an economic boom but also a housing crisis. Now, Detroit is battling bankruptcy, a plummeting population, and a gentrifying center surrounded by impoverished suburbs. This is rock bottom, but this brief history shows how many individuals are treating that as a solid foundation on which to build the city’s future.