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Own the land: Hip hop, EMs, land and love

It appears that spring has at last arrived in southeast Michigan. Gardeners around the city are eying their backyards, the empty lots and thinking about seeds, greens and growing. The overhanging cloud is the emergency manager (EM); what will happen to the city’s vacant lots, empty blocks and existing community gardens. This past year, residents unsuccessfully protested the Hantz land deal, a gift to corpor ...

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Go to college but be sure to graduate

Bethanie Fisher’s story highlights a growing problem in Black America — improving graduation rates for Black students. College graduation, even with growing mounds of student loan debt, is still one of the better predictors for one’s economic success. Yet, college graduation remains elusive for many Black students. College can actually be detrimental if students accumulate debt but do not graduate. ...

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Connecting struggles

Within the last 10 years, Detroit has closed 130 schools. New York City closed 117 schools. Just this month, Chicago announced the closing of 52 more schools. On the same day Detroit protesters gathered at Coleman A. Young Municipal Center to voice opposition to the newly-appointed emergency manager (EM), protestors in Philadelphia gathered in protest to the closing of 26 more public schools and the mayor’s ...

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We’ve only just begun

Mayor Coleman A. Young’s portrait was moved this week from Cobo Hall to Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, as if there was some attempt to honor the legacy of the city’s first Black and longest-serving mayor’s legacy. The move coincided with the first week of Emergency Financial Manager (EFM) Kevin Orr who, along with representatives from the Snyder administration, settled into work on the 11th Floor of the ...

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We don’t have to yell

When Gov. Rick Snyder announced the confirmation of a financial emergency and the imminent appointment of a emergency financial manager (EFM), he said he wouldn’t deal with those who oppose his position by yelling. It must be nice not to have to yell to be heard. Republican policy makers certainly don’t have to. ...

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