One year. One city. Endless opportunities.

Happy Thanksgiving

I'm in Chicago today, celebrating with family and friends. I hope all is well with you and yours on this most important holiday known as Thanksgiving.

Why I am thankful:

  1. My husband still has a job at General Motors.
  2. My children are healthy and happy, even if my 4-year-old son is obsessed with Bakugans and other strange toys these days.
  3. I have thought-provoking work (a great thing for a stay-at-home mom).
  4. My friends put up with me, even when I'm babbling after too many sleepless nights.
  5. I have met many, many new people through this blog – and I've learned that I love Detroit even if some call it a wasteland. Where they see blight, I see potential. And I am thankful for that kind of blind sight.

Go Lions!

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  • 1

    Happy Thanksgiving! - I'm proud and thankful to tell my friends that I'm a Detroiter!

    It's Thanksgiving Day 2009 and on every Thanksgiving day I'm always rooting for the Lions in their traditional football game. During the game I have the opporunity to tell the people gathered for the day what a great city I feel Detroit was and is.

    Today, I also saw, for the first time, your article Assignment Detroit from a link on a family website. After reading the article and viewing the photographs of the decline of some of Detroit's greatest landmarks, my heart cried at the devastation. I and none of my family live in Detroit any longer and, for a moment, I was glad but the more I thought about it, the more saddened I became at what's happened there.

    You see, I now live in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and have lived here for the past 38 years, except for 1 1/2 years I lived in Kansas City, Missouri. I love living in the Twin Cities but no matter where I've lived, I've always had, and still have, a love for Detroit and all of the things - very positive things - that growing up in Detroit provided in shaping my life.

    On Thanksgiving Day, first and foremost, was the ride (steetcar, then bus, then auto) downtown to watch the J. L Hudson Thanksgiving Day parade. Afterwards rushing home to listen the the Lions game on the radio and, in later years, watch the game on television. Then to enjoy a festive meal with family and friends.

    For me, Detroit was the center of the universe for an African-American to locate themselves in the 40's, 50's and 60's. Yes, even though we lived in Detroit (in the north), we knew there were certain places where we were refused to go and things we knew we couldn't do because of our skin color, but the one thing we did know was that we could find work in Detroit and the kind of work that my elder generation felt would provide enough to give us the dignity of self-reliance and the opportunity of offering our children a better life and future. I was one of those children and it was the work found in Detroit that provided for the education of my generation.

    In Detroit, there were many black migrants to the city from the south, but not as many as there were white migrants, all looking for that same dignity of work, self-reliance and opportunity. There was a common expression in the Black community that I heard what seemed like every day, "if you can't make it in Detroit, you can't make it any where". Hearing that expression gave adults hope in living in Detroit and told young boys, like me, that we were in a good place and we should grasp the opportunity for today and the future. Grab the education that Black children couldn't get in the south - learn the trades Black children in the south wouldn't be taught - earn the kind of income that Blacks won't be paid in the south - see and experience things via the freedom of personal travel that Black children in the south couldn't see and experience - all while knowing that there were, still, many doors for opportunity closed to us in Detroit.

    After seeing your atricle, I had this flood of memories of the great things that happened in Detroit and how I used to take visitors to our city on a three day tour. The auto factories like Fisher Body, Ford's River Rouge Plant, Chevrolet Gear and Axle, Briggs, Chrysler's corporate offices and plants in Highland Park. Then there was the Nike missile base on Belle Isle as well as the Belle Isle Zoo and a picnic on the Island. The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel to Windsor and back over the Ambassador Bridge, the New Center Area with the General Motors Building, Fisher /building and New Center Building and the Fox Theatre, all connected by an underground concourse. Hastings Avenue, which was at one time the heart of the Black business and entertainment community until taken by the Chrysler Expressway, then 12th Street where the Hastings Avenue businesses moved and thrived until they were devastated later during the 1967 riot. Motown's headquarters, Michigan Central Station which awed a younger me when we were leaving or arriving back home by train, the Detroit Institue of Arts, The Olympia where the Red Wings played, Briggs (Tiger) Stadium where the Tigers and Lions played and so much more.

    These wonderful memories are at the forefront of my mind today because I read the original article published in September and your blog today. I left Detroit, for the last time, in 1971 and I say thank you Detroit for what you given to many of us and what you will give to us as you rebuild, renew and revive yourself. Long live Detroit!

    • 1.1

      What a cool post, it's good to hear from people who have moved away but still love the city. The Detroit Blog is a great meeting place for people, it'll be sad when Time leaves, and the year will be over sooner than we think.
      You have some rich memories of the city, maybe one day you can move back. I'm sure Minneapolis is nice, but's it's not Motown, and from the sound of your post, your heart belongs here :)

  • 2

    [...] since we all love Thanksgiving football , I want all my fellow Detroit Lions football fans to check out detroit.blogs.time and tell me what you think about[...]

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