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August 10, 2016A black girl’s first act of sorcery is to make herself disappear. I understood this when my father asked me to sit on his lap. He was in a wonderful mood that night. His baritone, a whiskey warmed song ripe with invitation. I remember wrapping my arms around myself, hands trying to gather in my
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DetroitSkyline
August 8, 2016 “Sometimes you think you know what you’re looking at, and you actually have no idea.” -Sandra Simmons (Mama Sandra), Hush House, Detroit   I came to Detroit knowing very little about the city. What I did know was love, and I rested in the understanding that love was enough to take me anywhere. And what
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Grace Lee Boggs, now 97 years old, was the keynote speaker at the Asian & Pacific Islander American Vote - Michigan dinner on June 8, 2012. Top clockwise: me-Stephanie Gray Chang, Sarolina Chang (my mother), Sue Sung, Grace, and Shenlin Chen
July 1, 2016How does a young Asian American woman find her compass in an environment where her “Asian-ness” can foster confusion and alienation? With the release of the hailed documentary, American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, Shetroit revisits Stephanie Chang’s post on the indelible and life-changing impression that Grace made on the evolution of her
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I can't take this anymore.
August 5, 2015Monday, August 3, 2015:  I’m sitting on a plane on my way to DC for an organization wide event. My stomach is knotted as I think about seeing a co-worker who I have filed a sexual harassment claim against. I am a Dream Director. I empower youth and my community to believe that anything is
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women-cyberactivism-arab-spring
August 2, 2014I am Detroit. My heart beats “Papa Was a Rollingstone”. I feel lost–displaced. Everyone tries to tell me what my story is. And I can’t get an accurate reflection of myself. Time Magazine tells me that I am ruin porn. CNN keeps telling me that I am bankrupt. 60 minutes says that I am corrupt.
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How Grace Lee Boggs Helped Me Define My “Asian American-ness”

How does a young Asian American woman find her compass in an environment where her “Asian-ness” can foster confusion and alienation? With the release of the hailed documentary, American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, Shetroit revisits Stephanie Chang’s post on the indelible and life-changing impression that Grace made on the evolution of her
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Couples Retreats and Root Canals – It’s All About Digging Deep

The low point came several weeks before the couples’ workshop when Ron, my significant other, said he’d rather undergo root canal surgery. Or maybe it was a few days before we left for the workshop when he “joked” about getting prepared for “emotional waterboarding” (waterboarding being that infamous form of torture the U.S. military employs).
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The Need to be Super Mommy … in a Wheelchair

BEST of SHETROIT … We ran Tameka’s story in 2012 after she had her FIRST-born Miles. We’re featuring it now on the occasion of her SECOND child, Naima, starting to walk … (GO Tameka!)   I’m the type of young woman who always wanted a family. As a little girl, I played with baby dolls, feeding
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Racist Slurs Slung in the Classroom: Here’s How One Detroit Teacher Handles It

People often ask me if I get attacked for being a Muslim.  Although I might get a racist/ethnic slur shouted at me every now and then, it is actually a rare occurrence. When it does happen, it usually takes me by surprise, and on a good day, my reaction will be to smile and ask
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“Accessible” Wedding Plans: Wheelchairs and All

This week, my partner, Ryan, and I are celebrating our first wedding anniversary.   After a year, I am happy to report that: a) I love being married and b) I’m glad I never have to go through the process of planning a wedding again! As with all big projects, planning our wedding was quite
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Warning: Learning to Flip Grown Men Can be Good For Your Health

I never imagined that I’d get into martial arts. In fact, as a teen, the thought of martial arts made me feel weird and angsty. I think it was a combination of having seen bad kung fu movies and having no concept of how martial arts could relate to my life whatsoever. I had no
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Your Sensuality & Sexuality: Learning Through a “Sex Play Date”

NOTE: This article contains explicit and graphic material that may make some people uncomfortable. Dear Devi, My partner and I are exploring oral sex. He feels clumsy and unsure and I’d really like some tips on how I can support and encourage him on his way to becoming a world class lover. After all, the
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Black Boys: Do Not Let Them Make You Small & Invisible

Over the Detroit skyline soars the light of a boy. The ‘not guilty’ verdict is a reminder that there are places that still cannot stomach his shadow. Freedom is earned: paid for with life, blood, rage and grief. Our children memorize the dates of American wars. Educators repeat those dates until July 4th tastes metallic
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It was Either Curling into a Fear Ball or Launching into Action (Guess What She Chose)

It was getting late – about 8pm last November. Varsity basketball practice had wrapped up and Detroiter Alyssia Akers couldn’t catch a ride home. So 18-year-old Alyssia (pronounced: A-lee-see-a) decided she didn’t have much choice and started walking the five miles home from Central High on Detroit’s Westside.  What happened that night has shaped the
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What Trayvon Martin Means to Me & Should Mean to You, with LOVE from Detroit

One of Shetroit’s youngest bloggers, Shirley Bolden, wrote about Trayvon Martin at the time of his death last year. Now, following the George Zimmerman trial and verdict, her invitation rings with even stronger resolve … Initially, I labored over writing something about the Trayvon Martin tragedy. I was going to use cliches to explain what
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