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17 minutes | Jan 7, 2019
Fight for the Bando
My name is Jaye Green. I am from the eastside of Detroit. When I say I know the inner city. I mean that I know the inner city! I am 24 years old. I am old enough to have a mature mind-state about things, but young enough to connect with the youth. I have an extensive background of employment with Detroit Public Schools from coaching sports to being a culture facilitator. I mentor and train youth in sports in my spare time. I am also a visual artist, graphic designer, clothing designer, recording artist, and event planner. I can connect with mostly anyone of any age or walk of life. I wear a lot of hats, but these caps are some of the only things that make me happy. With the recent purchase of my grandmother’s home, the house I grew up in, I am designing a community center to expose youth and adults from the east side of Detroit to art, music, sports, and mentoring. With the elimination of the music, and art programs in Detroit Public Schools — the east side of Detroit is a very cultureless place these days. Along with the diminishment of recreation centers and after school programs, there are no positive outlets in the community. There is a gap between people of the inner city and midtown and downtown Detroit’s cultural community. People from young to old want to be educated in the arts, sports, and things like healthy living, but no one is curating these activities. There are a lot of youth that would stay out of the streets and focus more in school if they knew it risks the opportunity to learn how to record music. Or to create their own clothing. Even adults love painting, healthy cooking and yoga classes. I am trying to decrease the atmosphere of violence in my community. As well as motivate the people of my community to strive for positivity. Instead of the negative mind states that has plagued the city of Detroit. The drop-out rates are high and the value of education is low. Plus drugs and weapons are more relevant than ever with the youth in today's society. People have forgotten about the era of culture that this city was once built on. From Motown to the Motor City, we have a history of being educated and having class. We need to bring that movement back to the city. And that is what I am doing with "The dE'FACTION Project".In this episode, The Fight for The Bando, I document my journey to restore my grandma’s once abandoned house, something we call a “bando” on the east side. I spoke with people in the community to get their input as I work to contribute to the community. My goal is to restore my childhood home into a fully-functioning location on the eastside of Detroit where we can conduct classes in art, music, graphic design, photography/video, and healthy living. As well as mentoring to the youth. Plus, throw shows to showcase the works of performing and visual artist in the city.
33 minutes | Nov 28, 2018
Public Safety, Personal Experiences
I'm Scotty Boman. I was born and raised in Detroit and have been a resident of the Morningside community in the 48224 for 15 years. As a child, I lived just across the street from what is now Morningside on East Outer Drive, and I attended church and Boy Scout meetings at what was then Christ United Methodist Church. I remember viewing feature films at the Alger. I have fond memories of building model boats and cars at the Cannon Recreation Center that was adjoining Finney High School. East English Village Academy is now there. It is in this spirit that I felt inspired to create a podcast about the dynamics of police community relations. The richness of experience people had to share became especially clear to me when I walked door-to-door as a candidate for Police Commissioner. I saw the need for a civilian commissioner who could truly be an advocate for concerned civilians who approach the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners with concerns about how police officers are doing their jobs, while being understanding of the Herculean challenges faced by law enforcement in Detroit. As a civilian living in Detroit, I have often found the need to seek out assistance from the police. Like many of my neighbors, I have been the victim of break-ins and other crimes. I have also assisted police in their public safety efforts through my local radio patrol, Angels Night patrols, and being eyes and ears on the Detroit River Walk. I have also been on the receiving end when some police officers strayed from their duty to serve and protect. I am a realist who knows that even the best people have bad days, and that no profession is immune to bad actors. I have been on the executive board of the Morningside Neighborhood Association since I was first elected to it in 2013. I am a member of the 5th Precinct Community relations council and I was Vice President of my neighborhood Patrol for a few years. I’m deeply involved in the community and very concerned about the future of this city.
18 minutes | Aug 15, 2018
The MorningSide divide
I grew up in Detroit during the ‘80s, amid a period of rece ssion and white flight. As industry left, our community went from being a stable middle class neighborhood to one that was falling apart at its seams. Cultural centers disappeared and funding for education and other city services suffered. Meanwhile, Grosse Pointe, where many former Detroiters fled, was prospering. In my early teens, I was reading at substandard levels, which drove my parents to briefly rent a duplex in Grosse Pointe so I could attend a public high school with more resources. They held onto our Detroit house, where we returned following my graduation. My experience living across disparate, equally beloved communities left me feeling bewildered and uneasy, and has inspired my art practice over the past decade. For nearly 10 years, I have been working on The Other America, a multimedia project addressing the layers of inequality I experienced across Detroit and Grosse Pointe growing up. The title is borrowed from Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1968 speech highlighting the racial tensions between Detroit proper & its neighboring suburb Grosse Pointe. From this, I created an interactive website featuring a series of typological photographs of housing on each side of the line as well as photographs that compare community conditions like roads, green space, and other maintained structures, and physical and metaphorical divides. The website also includes web-based educational platforms, audio and texts that confront and force attention to this ongoing divide. When I discovered the Morningside 48224 podcast, I needed to be involved. Morningside is my old stomping ground. I went to grade school, church, roller skated, played ball, took the bus and had my first kiss - all in Morningside. It's the place where my Pops devoted his life to preserving the Alger Theater, one of Detroit's only lasting neighborhood theaters. Building on The Other America, I jumped on my childhood BMX bike to discover a day in the life on Mack Ave., the street which divides Detroit's Morningside neighborhood with the suburb of Grosse Pointe. On the ride, I photographed the communities, hung out with the locals and business owners, and my Heartthrob Chassis bandmates recorded an original song to feature in this episode. I sought to talk to people on each side to learn more about their perceptions of division and change. I searched for ideas that could bridge these neighboring communities who rarely interact.
6 minutes | Jun 26, 2018
Mr. Earl's neighborhood
Long before the city of Detroit rebranded itself, a tight-knit neighborhood on the far east side decided to make a name for itself. The community formerly known as NEAR (Neighborhood East Area Residents) wanted a name that could state their wishes, dreams, hopes and struggles aloud. A name cooler and brighter than its predecessor. The neighborhood held a contest, similar to neighboring communities like present-day Eastpointe and East English Village. They chose MorningSide, a name that captured what it was like to experience a bright morning on the sunrise side of the city ... or the warmth of neighborly goodness. The people of MorningSide wanted to designate their community as a site for new beginnings. In this episode, MorningSide native Lauren Gray and her father, Gary Gray, recall how their neighbor, Earl Jones, named the whole neighborhood.
33 minutes | Jun 20, 2018
MorningSide 48224, part 2. Slide, Ride or Die
In this episode, we meet the founder of the Detroit Artists’ Test Lab, the head of an African American podcast network called Audiowave, neighborhood activists young and old, a closet poet, and the woman who taught The Slide to a generation of skaters at Royal Skateland roller rink. Have no pity on our souls, ‘cause we don’t want it. We’re proud, and we flaunt it, like a badge of courage. We’ve taken blows, but we’re not discouraged. Been down but never out, and you better know it. Got scars, warts, and wrinkles, and we ain’t afraid to show it. Poet and MorningSide resident Derrick Gray This episode was made possible by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Arts Transcript Multiple Voices: Every neighborhood has a story, and every person from the neighborhood has a different outlook on said stories. The neighborhood is on a cusp of, “Are we gonna get worse? Are we gonna get better?” You can’t go but one way, and that’s up because it’s hit the rock bottom over the past, you know, twenty years or so. From WYPR and PRX, it’s a special edition of Out of the Blocks from MorningSide on Detroit’s east side. It’s one neighborhood, everybody’s story. The story of regular people who go about the business of working family, and they anchor Detroit, and they just quietly do it in their own honorable way. From the minds of Aaron Henkin and Wendel Patrick, in collaboration with the MorningSide 48224 podcast from Michigan Public Radio, it’s Out of the Blocks: MorningSide, Detroit, Michigan right after this. Mary: Even before you walk in through the double doors, you hear the music blasting, so that gets you pumping right away where you just wanna come in and put your skates on and you hear an old school or you hear just a song that you’ve been wanting to skate to, and you be like, “Okay, let me hurry up, get my skates on so I can get on the floor and do what I do.” I am Mary, everyone calls me Miss Mary. We are at Royal Skateland, 5201 Alter Road. Skateland is a place where you can go and just enjoy yourself, enjoy your families without the parents being behind you, somewhere where you drop your kids off early in the morning—as early as the rink opens—to late at night, to when it close. That’s how most of us spent our teenage years. We didn’t go home until they closed, and we was here before the doors even opened. Multiple children: My name is TJ Williams. I’m fourteen. I come here every day. My name’s Alexis, I’m thirteen, and Skateland’s awesome. I come here like every Tuesday. Skateland! I been going here for forever. Darien: I’m Darien. My job is skate counter, pass out the skates. Aaron Henkin: I see you repairing people’s skates. They’re coming over here, putting their feet up on the counter. You’re tightening them up while they don’t even have to take their skates off. D: Yeah, like, tell them to put their foot up here, and you can just fix it while they’re standing up and the skates still be on their feet. I’m seventeen. I’ve been coming here since I could walk, probably. AH: What do you like about working here? D: Mostly the girls. All the girls know me from being up here skating and stuff, so it’s easy for me to work here. I like it here. M: You start them off young, and this is something that they will wanna do. It keeps them out of trouble. AH: You are wearing roller skates right now as we are talking. You’ve got on a nice pair of white skates with gold wheels on them. How long have you been skating here? M: I’ve been skating here over thirty years. I’ve been working here for about twenty-three years. AH: And you get to do your job with roller skates on. M: Yes! That’s the fun part. That is the fun part about it. I can roller skate as much as I want. [?]: You have the Pontiac, the half-turn, you’ve got the bop, the washing machine, slow backwards skating, fast backwards skating, it’s a whole bunch of varieties. AH: I hear there’s like a signature move here called “the slide.” Who’s gonna tell me what the slide is and how that works? [?]: The slide is, basically, you try to slide as far as you can from one point to another. AH: You get your speed up and then you turn sideways? [?]: Yeah, and try to slide from one distance to another. M: That is what Skateland is known for. That is what Detroit is known for. Royal Skateland. We own “the slide.” You get on right, and that’s what we say, “You slide, ride or die.” [laughs] Glenn Urquhart: I’m an old white man in a predominantly African-American neighborhood, and at the very beginning wasn’t well-received. You know, I understand it. So, what I did to get to know my neighbors is I threw a beach party. We painted Mack Avenue blue, put twelve yards of sand down on the sidewalk, invited all the kids to come make sand castles, had hot dogs, just to get to know my neighbors and that really worked out for me. They knew I was here with my family. They understood that, you know, I wasn’t here to take any of the resources, I was here to contribute. Glenn Urquhart. I have the Detroit Artists’ Test Lab where we do multiple things out of here. We have a photo studio, studios for young artists. We also have an art space slash event space. Well, excuse the mess. This space right here is an event space, a gallery space. Eventually, this will be a café. We’re building a gift shop over here, and then we have a bar that’s going in over there, and I also have a bartending school that runs out of here. It works out perfectly with the event space we have over there. We have offices, but we call them mini-studios, that we membership out. We don’t rent. We have memberships here. I know it’s just a play on words, but I want people to feel like, “This is my home.” Turns out that this is the best neighborhood I’ve ever been in. There’s no place else I could do the things that I’m doing. When I met my wife and asked her where she wanted to live she said, “No picket fences,” so we bought this commercial building instead, and it’s way too big for us. And so the business end of it, actually, bloomed out of there. Out of necessity. And luckily, one of my first tenants—not really a tenant—one of my first members, was JG. John Gallaway: Investing in this place was a no-brainer after I met Glenn. He told me his vision. It was, “This area will be the artist quarter of Detroit,” and it was just like, “I’m down.” Like, I’m down, say no more. I’m John “JG” Gallaway. We are in the Detroit Artists’ Test Lab, inside Audio Wave studio. The best way to picture it is closing your eyes. So, you come to the door, you have white couches, white chairs, you have sound proofing all along the wall, spotlighting to make the light control a little bit better because you want to make it more conversational and just not so doctor-office-ish, if that’s a word. But, yeah, we’re located on the east side, a place where I was born and raised. I actually started podcasting because I got sick. I had cancer at one point, and a buddy of mine was visiting my house, and he was like, you know—I was listening to a podcast and we both have that conversational style where it’s like, people love to hear this. So, we kind of just said, “Let’s do it.” Like, let’s start a podcast. [Audio sample from the podcast] My podcast is called NWP. I have a show called Bar Babes. I have a show called Academy Sports Show. I have a show called Dear Showrunners. They talk about the writing aspect of TV shows, so they dissect TV but from a writing standpoint. I always wanted, like, a podcast deal. Like, I always looked at podcasts like music artists look at record label deals. Like, I get signed, I get all this money, I do all these things… But the wave of independency is on right now, so I said, “Let me take it into my own hands, let me create my own.” And that’s what birthed Audio Wave. It’s like, I had a knack for, like, obtaining sponsorships, and I can take the knowledge I know about obtaining sponsorships and give it to aspiring podcasters, and that’s what I did. GU: Jonathan, at that point, had a regular job and since then he’s built this inside of my art studio and it’s incredible and now he’s quit his job and this is what he does. This is his deal. JG: I’m so new to business. I’m a creator, so business meetings, business conversations, it’s just like, these are the parts that I’m scared—kind of nervous, not scared, but nervous—in. But like, a mic in front of me? It’s game time. GU: His little world is in this booth, for lack of better term, but he’s affected the whole place. It’s the largest African-American-owned podcast network in North America. JG: That’s what it is, until someone proves otherwise. That’s what we’re going with. Make sure you follow Audio Wave Network, and just to all the creatives out there, create until it’s not fun anymore and be great. That’s it. AH: You have such a peaceful house, and I really like the sound of your wind chimes out there on this windy day. Gloria Thomas: Thank you, thank you. That’s the little artist in me, there’s an artistic side to myself. I’m Gloria Thomas and we are sitting here in my home at 4127 Courville Street in Detroit, Michigan. I just relocated from North Carolina, and I was looking for… to buy a home. And at that time, I was single and I
31 minutes | Jun 8, 2018
MorningSide 48224 podcast from Out of the Blocks | Part 1
On the east side of Detroit, the streets of MorningSide are lined with stately, brick Tudor-style houses. But today, one in four of those houses is abandoned, boarded up, gutted, or burned out. The foreclosure crisis of 2008 hit MorningSide like a tidal wave, and the neighborhood is struggling to sprout again from the rubble. There’s a lot of buzz about a new Renaissance in downtown Detroit, but the locals in this corner of town are wondering when – and if – the revival is going to make its way to them. In the meantime, they’re holding their own and looking out for each other. In this special episode, Out of the Blocks teams up with Michigan Radio’s MorningSide 48224 podcast to share voices from MorningSide. In the new Detroit conversation, there’s this impulse to erase some of the tradition, or replace it with lofts and warehouses, but to know that the roots are actually planted, and they’ve been here for a long time, that’s what this neighborhood reminds me of. Imani Mixon, producer of the MorningSide 48224 podcast This episode was made possible by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Arts
13 minutes | May 30, 2018
Our Balfour story: Three generations, one block
Three women recall their lives on Balfour. Over three generations, grandmother Patricia Robinson, mother Tamiko Clark, and daughter DaTrice Clark have lived on the same street in MorningSide. Their family story doubles as a history lesson in the neighborhood. Throwback graduation pictures line the dining room wall.The true essence of any neighborhood is best understood by the people who live, work, play, and stay in the neighborhood. While some Detroiters have a citywide history, this story is particularly special because multiple generations chose to stay on the same block in MorningSide. Although just about every change that a neighborhood experiences can be traced back to a citywide trend or new development, the moments with the most impact happen right at home. That's why Trice Clark invited the women in her family to share their stories, and walk us through pivotal moments in the MorningSide community and the city of Detroit. If you’re a MorningSide resident with a story to tell, MorningSide 48224 wants to hear from you! You can email Imani Mixon at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or call: 313-640-2908. Get episodes of MorningSide 48224 sent straight to your smartphone or computer. Just subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. MorningSide 48224 is a project of Michigan Radio and the Detroit Journalism Cooperative. It gets support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
9 minutes | Apr 6, 2018
Residents take the mic in new MorningSide podcast
There are a few basic steps journalists take when reporting. Pick a newsworthy topic. Track down the facts. And then talk to people out in the community what they think about it. But what if you flipped that script? What if, instead of asking the questions, you let people in the community decide what’s worth talking about? That’s the idea behind MorningSide 48224 , a community-produced podcast from Michigan Radio and the Detroit Journalism Cooperative.
10 minutes | Apr 6, 2018
Step up to the mic with MorningSide 48224
This year, Michigan Radio is trying something new. Instead of sending a reporter in to tell stories about MorningSide, we’re inviting the MorningSide community to tell their own stories. From family histories to local happenings, we want to highlight narratives that feel true and honest to the people who experience the neighborhood every day.
1 minutes | Mar 28, 2018
MorningSide 48224: A community podcast
What happens when community members lead the conversation about their community? MorningSide 48224, a community-led podcast, will endeavor to find out. Instead of unearthing city stories from a distance, Imani Mixon , a Detroit-based and embraced journalist who grew up in MorningSide, will be embedded in the community working closely with residents to produce their own stories about their own experiences. From city councilmen to school children, this is an open invitation for MorningSide
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