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What the Trayvon Tragedy Can Teach Us About Being White

A week like this hasn’t been an easy one for conducting ourselves in the work-a-day world while Trayvon’s soul calls us to think deeply and long about healing and justice. The Trayvon Martin case shows once again how white people and people of color live in very different universes. Many of my African American friends […]

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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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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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Delighting Detroit Parents with an Edgy New School

“I didn’t know this was here!  I never knew this Detroit existed!” 19-year-old Desmond Burkett was both shocked and delighted – with a tinge of regret as he said that. Desmond is thoughtful and outgoing but dropped out of school in 10th grade defeated and angry over the crumbling condition of his Detroit school and […]

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Stop Corrupting Mothers Day!

  Traditional Mother’s Day has been a stick in my craw since 2004 when I discovered the true roots of the holiday. Mother’s Day began as a women’s peace movement, not as the biggest Hallmark card day of the year! Not that I don’t think mothers deserve a special day of adulation. It’s just that […]

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My Mother’s Warning: “You know if you put it on, you can’t take it off”

I remember sitting on my parents’ bed as a kid and trying to wrap one of my mom’s headscarves around my head. Standing on the bed, looking into the mirror that sat atop their dresser, I saw myself take the square piece of cloth and trying miserably to tie it in a knot like I […]

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Why Detroit and YOU Are so Much Alike

In Pune, India where I was living just a few short months ago, every well-to-do neighborhood is surrounded by a ring of slums that provides the labor to make upper-class life possible.   A walk of any distance brought me into contact with children living on the streets and rag collectors going through trash piles, […]

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Secrets of Who’s Who Under Those Head Coverings

As a Muslim woman I choose to wear a headscarf, known as the hijab, because it symbolizes the core beliefs and ethics of Islam that I hold close to my heart. Having said that, I’ve always known that the headscarf conceals identifying characteristics that allow people to recognize those of us who decide to wear the […]

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When Black Isn’t Beautiful … And How Sexual Healing Told Me Otherwise

I learned from a very young age that black is not beautiful. I learned from all the childhood fairytales and Walt Disney stories which described the beautiful white princess with flowing blond hair, who was saved by the handsome white prince who instantly fell in love with her, enslaved by her fair beauty and silky […]

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