David Clements Documentary Photojournalist

Detroit’s Insane Clown Posse Fans Find Community When They Gather As Outliers

I was initially introduced to the Detroit-based hip-hop/horrorcore  duo Insane Clown Posse (ICP) audience as they were corralled on the rear street of the Palms Theatre on Woodward on Halloween 2010. Rumor had it there was some interest in not having “these” people milling around, waiting for the doors to open on Woodward Avenue. They […]

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Detroit Memory Sites

The urban expression of a memorial is usually exhibited as a sculpture, park, roadway or a tombstone. A good example is the largest cemetery in Detroit, Mt. Olivet, whose mission to serve Catholic burial needs has been the soil of choice for over 400,000 faithfuls. Between 1920-1950, Detroit may have been the largest Catholic city in the US as it was a destination of immigrants from other Catholic communities. Over the past decades the decline of Roman Catholics has forced the cemetery to welcome other Christians to their eternal land.

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The Land of the Cross-Tipped Churches & Trail of Tears

My parents grew up on farms east of Muncie, Indiana where and I was born at Ball Hospital. We moved to Benton Harbor, Michigan at age 8. When I moved to Detroit age at 20, I began my annual drive “Down to Indiana” on Wednesdays, the day before the annual family Thanksgiving Dinner – usually […]

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The Marvelettes – Motown A Go Go

Deliver De Letter
De Sooner
De Better

The Marvelettes were an American girl group that achieved popularity in the early to mid-1960s.

The Marvelettes: clockwise from top left: Gladys Horton, Katherine Anderson, Georgeanna Tillman, and Wanda Young (1963).

They consisted of schoolmates Gladys Horton, Katherine Anderson, Georgeanna Tillman, Juanita Cowart (now Cowart Motley), and Georgia Dobbins, who was replaced by Wanda Young prior to the group signing their first deal. They were the first successful act of Motown Records after the Miracles and its first significantly successful female group after the release of the 1961 number-one single, “Please Mr. Postman”, one of the first number-one singles recorded by an all-female vocal group and the first by a Motown recording act.

Founded in 1960 while the group’s founding members performed together at their glee club at Inkster High School in Inkster, Michigan, they signed to Motown’s Tamla label in 1961. Some of the group’s early hits were written by band members and some of Motown’s rising singer-songwriters such as Smokey Robinson and Marvin Gaye, who played drums on a majority of their early recordings.

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Photographic and Historical Record of Detroit’s Dissolving Outdoor Advertisements

Detroit outdoor advertising wall signs are nearly gone.

Most of the architectural canvas is gone too.

Uneeda Biscuit was incredibly successful on the East Coast with the original idea of wall advertising. Uneeda Biscuit was the first product of the National Biscuit Company (NBC, now Nabisco).

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2021 Hamtramck, Michigan Yacht Club Race

What A Blast!

The so-called Hamtramck Yacht Club Race is a misnomer of sorts. There is no waterway in Hamtramck, so the race is held on the streets and thousands of people provide the water, dowsing participants as they race down Joseph Campau Street and back. (more…)

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Detroit’s Borders: Highland Park – Ruins Or Renewal?

My first part-time job after relocating to Detroit in 1968 at 666 W. Willis–Alpine Court was as a delivery assistant to a guy from India, who lived on the 3rd floor that reeked of Indian spices. We drove north on Hamilton Avenue into Highland Park on cold winter mornings, in a leaky van and picked […]

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Detroit-Area Food Distribution During Global Pandemic

Hunger is a huge problem. Individuals, businesses, churches and charities in Greater Detroit are doing their best to help stave off hunger. I began documenting Metro food distribution in October of 2020; as the months pass, the need is certainly accelerating. Detroit’s Afro American Mission on Clay Street sits quietly between two of the last […]

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Tiny Homes and Big Scripture on President Woodrow Wilson Avenue Detroit, Michigan

There is a lot going on in a small section of town that contains … almost nothing. President Woodrow Wilson Avenue in Detroit initially reflected the residential prosperity of Detroit, circa 1913. The building is the People’s Block. Nowadays, the President Woodrow Wilson (W.W.) corridor neighborhood is nearly vacant. It’s certainly wide enough to land […]

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Detroit Responds to Pandemic

I began documenting public responses to the global COVID-19 pandemic in the summer of 2020. As more recognition of the problem emerged, individuals set out to address the issue. This man is promoting wearing masks for safety here on the street in the Indian Village community of Detroit. In a quiet community in Detroit a […]

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