Detroit is turning into…what?

Photo Credit: Crooked

Just so you know, this is a ramble. So if you’re looking for one of those highly structured, academic-type things, then maybe come back next week.

Just kidding. That’s something you most likely won’t ever find here. What I do here is pretty much straight brain to page, as some of you may have kinda figured out already. And the thing I’m looking to ramble about today, mostly because it’s something that has been raising a ruckus between my ears these past few days, banging pans and bumping into stuff. The only remedy for that kind of uncalled for behavior is to spill it out.

So Detroit. Because it’s my adopted hometown, and because I doubt I will ever leave. Some close friends are leaving, which I do understand and for whom I have no criticism. Detroit ain’t easy, and sometimes it just doesn’t give you a choice. As much as I’d like those folks whom I consider to be the kinda folks this city needs to hang in there if they can, I know all too well that sometimes hanging in can wind up being abbreviated to just hanging.

Much of the chatter that’s going around is that Detroit is essentially turning into one big urban removal project, scheming up ways to bulldoze the black folks to make way for the white folks. Some point to Midtown as a sign of things to come with all that yoga, dog parks, coffee shops, and..well..white  stuff. All that stuff ain’t for us, and you know it ain’t. How many of us do you see down there anyway? So goes the rant.

I understand where that’s coming from, and as paranoid as it may sound to some, it’s actually not. Not if you know the history of this city, and not if you know what has happened in cities across this country. That doesn’t mean the paranoia is dead-on accurate either because, once again, it’s not. But one thing is for sure; as many times as we Detroiters have heard the term ‘renaissance’ in the past, and then watched that supposed renaissance drift away into the fog, I do believe this time the term will stick. For better or worse (we’ll have to see), Detroit is not going to be the same city 10 years from now. It’s just not. It’s starting downtown, that’s true. But no way is it staying there.

Some of my friends are leaving because they claim to see the writing on the wall, and the Detroit that’s coming isn’t the Detroit they want to live in. I see that writing too, and like I said I can understand the exhaustion of all that fighting and enduring and waiting and fighting some more and then waiting. I can feel that exhaustion snatching my breath on more occasions than I care to remember.

But for me? There’s just nowhere else to go…


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Writer and musician.

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