Week 5 – Article Response – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Week 5 – Article Response

This week we were asked to respond to an article about the city of Detroit. I immediately thought of responding to an article written by Mitch Albom. He is a sportswriter for the Detroit Free Press, but is also famous for writing the books Tuesdays With Morrie, The Five People You Meet in Heaven and other books. The article is called “The Courage of Detroit“. It can be found using this link. This article describes the attitude and culture of the city of Detroit, especially highlighting the role of sports within the city.

One part of the article that especially interested me was when Albom described the people in Detroit not as screamers, but as people who take the punches that life hands out. Albom explains, “We want to scream, but we don’t scream, because this is not a screaming place, this is a swallow-hard-and-deal-with-it place.” This observance stuck with me because it reflects what people have told me about their impressions of Detroit. People here are active participants and change makers within their community. This reality is what I experience as I learn more about different Detroit residents, communities and organizations through living here.

The article also had a section where it discusses the common theme of fire within the city of Detroit. Houses and buildings are burned down, and the media shows this representation often of Detroit burning, especially of it being burned by its own citizens. This reminds me of what staff members in Focus: HOPE have explained to me. Fire is a big indicator of the status of this city, and is an important component of the Detroit neighborhoods. Fires and burning do seem to be a component of the complexity of this city.

Overall, this article provided me with some interesting perspectives on the city of Detroit and what pieces of its history have influenced where it is today. The overall tone of the resilience of the city and its citizens was especially insightful to me as I continue to question what motivates people to stay in the city of Detroit despite the potential hardships.

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