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An Open Letter to Black Women Who Are Lovingly Devoted and Committed to Supporting and Protecting Robert Kelly

This one is heavy. Let me set the table in love and understanding and start by saying that by the time you are done reading this you will either appreciate the letter or not. I am okay with that, as silence breaking can go either way in a community where silence has been a protector […]

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Hey Mama! Meet Your New Best Friend

She lives in Royal Oak, has fulfilling work with good pay, a loving husband and two well-tended kids with another on the way. In that respect, Danielle Atkinson is miles apart – literally and figuratively – from the other mothers of color who live on the margins of barely meeting the basic needs of their […]

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Shetroit: Putting the ‘She’ in Detroit

Of course, it rhymes with Detroit if you pronounce it the way most of us do: DEE troyt. Shetroit puts a feminine face on a city that has always been known for its masculine energy: Motor City, Arsenal of Democracy, Hockeytown, Rock City, The Fist. All of them strong iconic male images. On the other […]

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The Messy, Prickly Process of ‘Detroit Works’

When I moved to Detroit in 1984, folks gave me this welcome pitch: “This city has nowhere to go but up!” Not so. The abyss seems to have grown deeper as the city totters on the edge of bankruptcy. When will the city’s 700,000 die-hard residents get a little dose of hope? That’s what the […]

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A Starving Artist Loves Her Life

Her stage name is Honeycomb, but the dazzling spoken word poet, Tawana Petty, wears her ‘real’ name and lives her ‘real’ life in rugged authenticity here in Detroit. She first appeared on my radar as the real life Tawana Petty, a poor working mom, who rocked the Occupy movement when she fired off a Dear […]

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