Of course, J Dilla is the soundtrack to the mood swing that shifts summer to fall. I did Detroit dirty when I was home, only came in for a Tigers game like most white people that circumvent the city. My absence speaks volumes to me, I am at odds with much of the gentrification of Detroit and the white-hipsterdom that flanks my favorite building, which much to my surprise was also having windows put in.
This trip was also about family, and none of mine is in the city proper anymore. Suburban sprawl is the story of southeastern Michigan, and while I was born in Detroit and spent my youngest years in Dearborn, Ann Arbor is really my home. I rep Detroit on the macro scale, but when we get micro, I need to be real with you: I am not from the hood.
I have chosen to make the hood my home, and my life, and that is white privilege, too. I reap it everyday when I walk the streets alone, but when I'm with my husband, or my kids, it's strange to see my positionality change. Identity is complex like that. You cannot make assumptions about people. But you can begin by listening to their stories.
We're going to be delving into the drama of identities. When you feel yourself compartmentalized or disconnected, hopefully these exercises will help you connect with others again. We are more alike than different, us humans, but there is how the world has cultured and shaped us. We created the difference and now cannot undo our creation. Race does not exist, but racism does. Discuss.