Well Played: African World Festival 2015

by Zuri McWhorter

Detroit X, the people who want to blend the art and soul of our city for you to represent anywhere, curated and managed the Official AWF Merch and Info booth. “We gotta make this look like a boutique, not a regular festival tent,” my homie Taqee Vernon, creator of Detroit X, told me. We had to fit a dozen designers and musicians, including Cool Club Clothing, D.R.E.A.M Clothing, The Shed, Chad Roto, Max D’Villian, and Shaun Carlo, into this one booth. “Make it pretty!” And thus, the fun began.

Duggan for Detroit: White Supremacy and Media Scrutiny

by Eric Riley

Lately there has been a trend in the most popular (i.e., corporate) media outlets in Detroit (WXYZ, Fox2, and the Free Press) in their astounding lack of investigation or substantive criticism of white male figures in power. For many the first white male power figure with media backing that comes to mind is Dan Gilbert, CEO of Quicken Loans and – according to any of the news outlets I’ve mentioned – the undisputed savior of the Motor City.

Posted on August 19, 2015 .

When The Youth Cry Out, We Must Respond

Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership

Our young people are breaking the silence and the rest of America needs to listen, look itself in the mirror and act. We stand in solidarity with Baltimore, Ferguson and all oppressed communities responding to police violence. Locally, we remember Aiyana Jones, Shelly “Treasure” Hilliard, Terrence Kellom and others who have lost their lives at the hands of police officers.

The time to break our silence and respond to the call from our young people is now. It is time to cry out for people, not property...

With Love Like This...

by Donna Givens

It seems that everybody loves Detroit’s children.  We know they care because they’ve spent most of the past 16 years imposing anti-Democratic and financially reckless policies on Detroit’s public schools. They’re concerned about resources re-directed from the classrooms and into the pockets of greedy and corrupt local leaders; they are deeply disturbed by poor academic results.  Detroit school teachers must be held accountable.  Detroit parents, including those too poor to access other academic options, have a civil right to school choice.  And the poorest of poor parents who survive off of meager public welfare benefits must be punished through the loss of subsistence income if their children fail to attend school on a regular basis.

Posted on May 20, 2015 .

The Devaluation of Detroit's Youth

by Donna Givens

Young people live in a Detroit where they are feared, avoided, regulated, and frequently oppressed by a proliferation of rules and codes that are unrelated to their growth and wellbeing. Despite the ubiquitous claim that we love young people, Detroit’s youth are treated like deficits, discussed in reference to real and perceived deficiencies without any understanding of their strengths. 

Land Dispossession and Disaster Capitalism: A Post Bankruptcy Detroit

by Dennis Black

While police brutality is one of the more politicized facets of state sanctioned violence, we must never forget this countries greatest act of sanctioned violence – the mass enslavement, torture, and genocide of African and Indigenous people in the United States. The backbone of U.S civil society was built through our free labor and social death, yet Detroit has one of the highest water rates in the country, the highest car insurance, the highest unemployment rates, and one of the nations highest high school drop out rates, and to top it off, we are the largest and most populated city occupied by Black people. Police violence is just one of many anti-black technologies wielded by the state to repress the upward mobility of our people. 

The State of Black Detroit

by LaTonya Berry

Nandi’s Knowledge Cafe in Highland Park opened its doors to the community for a State of Black Detroit Address on the anniversary of Malcolm X’s assassination, this past Saturday, February 21st. Khary Wae Frazier, a Detroit advocate, organized the event to “honor the richness of Detroit’s Black history, Black family, and Black experience.” The address was the first installment in Frazier’s new approach at his “7 O’clock Saturday Stories” series, and featured author and freedom fighter, Yusef Shakur.

Posted on February 23, 2015 .

Mayor Duggan, Revitalization, and Things Unmentioned

by Eli Day

[It’s] been maddening to watch as the intellectuals, journalists, and upwardly mobile of Detroit participate in a bizarre specimen of hero worship: not only trumpeting the successes of Mayor Mike Duggan, but ritually veiling his shortcomings. To be clear, Duggan is not without credentials—his business and political acumen are obvious. The trouble with heroes is that when the time comes to be scrupulous about policy details there’s a collective reluctance to question their wisdom, perhaps for fear of revealing the limits of our own.

What the F@#! is Midtown?

by Eli Day

It shouldn’t have come as a surprise. By inviting an old friend to a Midtown bar I opened myself to a collision of worlds, or rather the recognition that one was being displaced by another. Together we had survived Detroit’s most devastated communities, and awkwardly traversed its most affluent. His response to my invitation was piercing: “What the fuck is Midtown?” It made sense in the most straightforward way: the area was long known as Cass Corridor to those familiar with its brutalized, but resilient history. Yet his query was as penetrating as it was plain. 

Posted on February 1, 2015 .

Living in a Changing Detroit

by Kinsey Clarke

Is change only going to happen in [Detroit] when the [race] of the majority has changed?  Will we only see improvements when we’re erased from the very city made famous for the tenacity of its long term residents?  The emergence of the new booming downtown and midtown areas have started renovations and rebuilding that was seemingly sparked by suburban “discovery” of the jewels of the city, and is eerily reminiscent of the gentrification of Brooklyn. While I live in this changing Detroit, I can’t help but wonder if these changes are going to increase and encompass those of us who have been here, or if we too will be left behind...

Posted on February 1, 2015 .