Joy’s Detroit Life: Chapter 4 – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Joy’s Detroit Life: Chapter 4

Hello, it is I turning in a late blog — I am so sorry! I will do better next week.

Anywhose let’s talk about culture. My perspectives on culture have always been interesting as a Black woman from the African diaspora that grew up in a predominantly white town in Michigan then moved to the rural south then back to the Midwest to Michigan. Each location and experience is different than the other due to the people and the identities present in each place. Additionally, how folks experience the same place is shaped by their life experiences and the norms they grew up with, value, and expect of others. Culture is like water colors, very abstract, amorphous, consistently changing by the slightest brush of a stroke and gorgeous. Brilliant Detroit is special because while they use the same model at each home, the participants drive and shape the culture of each home. As mentioned in yesterday’s group activity, Brilliant Detroit is working on allyship through an active lens of being the allies that the community wants and not who Brilliant Detroit wants to be. Although there are no explicit cultural cues I can articulate, I can confidently say each home holds a culture that prides inclusivity, growth, and community. And that’s pretty awesome.

2 thoughts on “Joy’s Detroit Life: Chapter 4”

  1. Charles B Vazquez


    It is pretty awesome.

    I had no idea that you’d lived all over the country. If you haven’t already, perhaps you and Scarlett have more to talk about, given the amount of thought she puts into answering the question, “Where are you from?” I would also curious to hear about your experience living in a predominantly white town in Michigan other than Ann Arbor.

    I appreciate the analogy to water colors. So many people speak at such a high level of abstraction when it comes to this sort of work, so it’s nice to read something that someone who cares so much about making the material “digestable” wrote.


  2. YES PLEASE DO BETTER NEXT TIME (except this comment is late so nevermind). I love your interpretation of culture. I think you’re right in saying that culture is affected by the experiences we each have, which are influenced by our own lenses. I love that Brilliant Detroit is trying to be an ally that is invited in to the communities it works in.

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