I sat down this week to chat with my neighbor Liza Bielby about the Porous Borders Festival happening next weekend around the Detroit and Hamtramck border. Liza is part of The Hinterlands, the group responsible for organizing the festival. Read what she has to say, visit the website, and come out to the festival. [Shameless plug] I'm hosting an event called The Breakdown on Saturday May 16th at 8 pm, where anyone with a story to tell, talent to showcase, song to sing, fruit to juggle is invited to perform when the spirit moves them.
This week I want to try to be of some use to all those of you considering applying to Write A House. Applications open today, and I have no real idea how that process works. Check out the WAH Facebook page, where they have been posting application tips every Monday for the past few weeks. Being as I won the first house and was given the task of writing for the blog because Toby didn’t want to, I thought I’d give some additional tips culled from my personal experiences. 2-6 also double as advice for anyone who wants to move to Detroit in general—also, dear strangers and acquaintances, please stop asking me if it’s a good idea for you to move here. From now on, anyone who asks me and doesn't already have my phone number is just getting a link to this post. All of this is to say: feel free to take these tips with a grain of salt because unless you know me, I’m just another person giving unsolicited advice on the internet.
Kenneth Cockrel, from the film "Taking Back Detroit"
So my intention going into February was to highlight the lives of black women in particular, to hold space for the parts of black history that so often get left unspoken, or that have washed away in the waves of historical amnesia so prevalent in this country. This week, I intended to write a post about the League of Revolutionary Black Workers, in part because it combines two of my most fervent historical interests: U.S. labor history and mid-20th century black revolutionary history. I thought too, that it might provide and interesting historical synthesis of my two previous interviews.
Hello all! This week I interviewed Sabionne Agee about her work on the next Write A House renovation. Ms. Agee is apprenticing with Zac Cruse of Zac Cruse Construction. The company did a brilliant job on the first Write A House (I should know, because I live in it) and is now beginning to work alongside Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice on the next writer's residence with Sabionne on board. I asked Sabionne a few questions about her life in Detroit and how she came to construction work as a woman in Detroit.
Hello all,I know I typically post on Mondays, but this week things moved a little differently. This week, I've transcribed most of an hour long interview with the poet, activist, editor and professor of African American Studies, Dr. Aneb Kgositsile aka Gloria House. Aneb has worked for many years with Broadside Press, a radical black publishing house founded by the poet Dudley Randall in Detroit in 1965.
Happy Dr. Martin Luther King Day!
Today, I want to answer a question I get asked frequently, and tie in a little history as well. The question in question: how do you get around if you don’t drive? The answer is simple—ride-sharing apps and kindness. I’ve never had a license.