The Interconnectedness of Detroit’s Past and Present – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

The Interconnectedness of Detroit’s Past and Present

Over the course of the program we have attended meetings every Tuesday and Thursday as a group, gathering for celebrations like Juneteenth, and town halls that discussed the state of gentrification in Detroit. We’ve gone on walking tours that discussed the history of slavery in Detroit, and traveled to Dearborn for the Concert of Colors. We’ve been to the Motown Museum, the Arab American National Museum, the Detroit History Museum, and of course, the Detroit Institute of Arts. Collectively, the group meetings have formed a deep narrative of Detroit’s past and present. But what I’ve liked most about these meetings is the way that they’ve demonstrated how all these experiences, past and present, have been connected and are still connected today.

One of the presenters at the Juneteenth event was on the panel at the gentrification talk and tour guide for the history of slavery in Detroit was a speaker there as well. At the Concert of Colors we watched the video of a young musician who’s slides depicted the changing city we’ve heard about at the gentrification talk. At the Juneteenth event we learned about the many ways that Freedom is still not a reality for many in Detroit. As the water gets shut off and the homes are foreclosed, and the schools are closed down, it is impossible to separate Detroit from its history.

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