WE ARE CAMPAU/BANGLATOWN
The Banglatown neighborhood straddling the Detroit-Hamtramck border is an exciting place that demonstrates many of the values that a diverse, immigrant-rich community can offer. Banglatown is home to one of the nation’s densest clusters of Bangladeshi-Americans and is the only place in America where one can get a voting ballot in Bengali. It also is home to large numbers of African-American, Yemeni, Polish, Bosnian and other diverse residents. According to the 2010 Census, over half of the 5,000 residents are identified as Asian (mostly Bangladeshi), 30 percent as African-American, and nearly 10 percent as two or more races. More than half of the households (62 percent) speak a language other than English at home and nearly 40 percent speak English less than very well. This unique diversity — racial, ethnic, national origin, cultural (the community is home to a significant groundswell of artists and art projects) — creates some very different experiences of the neighborhood. The artist community has been developing some of the most innovative projects and programs of any disinvested urban neighborhood in America. Conant Avenue, the main commercial retail thoroughfare, is bustling with activity and is one of the few neighborhood retail strips in Detroit with virtually no vacancies. Neighborhood relations are relatively free of the conflict that often characterizes communities with such different cultures.