Urban History

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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No More Bullshit – Political Lawn Signs Run the Gamut in 2020, Oakland County, Michigan

I did not have to travel more than a couple of miles from my Royal Oak home, heading east, to find a huge diversity in political lawn advertising.  I suspect that the farther north I traveled the more diversity I’d find. Perhaps you know that the “My Governor is an IDIOT/Pure Moron” sign is based […]

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Detroit: Write On !

And thou shalt write […] upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates  –  Deuteronomy 11:20 As the Detroit urban landscape suffers abandonment and the population dwindles, the desire and motivation to deliver a hand-written public statement to inspire and alert are stymied by lack of people and walls. The longtime resource […]

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Detroit: SEE-FOOD Capital of America

Small restaurants that once served a dense residential population have nearly disappeared in Detroit.  To attract attention to their wares, these small businesses had to communicate quickly with people passing by in automobiles and on foot, and chose to do so with images of food painted on walls. Here, the simple message is unmistakable and […]

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Hair Today-Gone Tomorrow in Detroit

Hair care in Detroit is a huge cash business. Beauty salons, predominantly female owned, and male-owned barbershops, take on unwanted retail space in nearly-impossible locations along major streets. The goal is to establish an independent money flow in the city’s often-difficult financial environment, and involves spending long hours on your feet. Building a regular client […]

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ANN SCOTT AND THE HEAVENLY STARS OF DETROIT

At 74, Ann Scott is imposing at rehearsal.  She is the only remaining original member of the Heavenly Stars of Detroit, a women’s gospel group, founded in 1972. Ann’s family migrated from Tyler, Alabama in 1961 for a good paying Detroit job. She then raised four kids with husband Pastor Sam Scott, became a licensed […]

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