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A "Residents Only" Law in Dearborn Parks Sparks a Black Boycott

Abutting heavily black Detroit, the predominantly white suburb of Dearborn has earned an unsavory reputation as one of America's more segregated communities. Conditions have not changed appreciably since the 1980 census showed only 83 blacks among Dearborn's 90,660 residents. The city's lily-white makeup was maintained by Mayor Orville Hubbard, a chest-thumping racist who ruled Dearborn's city hall from 1942 to 1978. Although Hubbard died in 1982, his legacy was hauntingly present last week as civil rights activists expanded a boycott of local stores to protest efforts to bar nonresidents from most of Dearborn's 39 parks.

At issue was an ordinance, passed...

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