Detroit was the first stop on our Amazing Journeys series of road trips. We set out in a Ford Flex to discover Black contributions to the cultural development of our cities and the resulting influence of that city’s culture of the country.
My preconceived impression of Detroit was that I was expecting to see more pool halls and bowling alleys. Don’t ask me why. I have a friend from the D who was on the bowling team in college, maybe that’s it. The unique things about our stay in Detroit start with our residence. Rather than crashing at a pricey downtown hotel or across the river in Canada, we lucked up and found a renovated townhome close to the stadiums (shout out to Craig’s list). This set the tone by allowing the whole crew to meet, stock the fridge and hang out together. The place also had enough rooms for us to retreat to our neutral corners when necessary. That’s how you’re supposed do it whenever possible.
The funny part was when we tried to hit Wally world to stock up on supplies. The GPS sent us to the nearest one which was in CANADA! Try explaining that to the border guard.
Canadian Guard: “Why are you here?”
4 Black men wearing snorkels in a brand new Truck in the middle of the night: “Walmart”
Yeah, that wasn’t his last question by far. Crazy.
By the time we would eventually leave Detroit I’m sure we had all come to understand so much more about the city and its influences. More on that later.
To start, I HIGHLY recommend all parents to take the kids by the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History featured in this video. I live on the east coast and travel around a bit, and I was completely surprised that I had never heard of this AMAZING museum. This facility is Top-Notch, bar none. Their exhibit “And Still We Rise” will take you on a voyage through time and space as you walk through the timeline of the African Diaspora ending up in America today. The most remarkable portion of which is the journey through the Middle Passage. Visitors walk the deck of a ship leaving the shores of Western Africa, and head below deck into the bowels of the ship into the nightmare of human slave transport. It is an impressive display that must be experienced. I can’t stress it enough, the Museum facility, staff, and exhibits are excellent.
Pay them a visit when you can or make it a point to donate to their cause of educating people on the historical contributions of Black people in America.
To find out more about the Charles H. Wright Museum, see their website here: www.maah-detroit.org/index.html
Stay tuned for the next installment of Amazing Journeys: Detroit (Part 2).