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Motown in the Big Apple

For more than a year now, Detroit has been commanding space in the media in New York City — mainly the coverage of the city’s fiscal crisis and the bankruptcy. On the other side of the ledger is “Motown the Musical,” which after 500 performances on Broadway is still as fresh as “a brand new beat.” And in October, the show will be back in town where the music was created and shared with the world. There is l ...

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‘Get On Up’

This much-awaited bio-film tells you some things you already knew: James Brown could sing the funk out of a song. It also shows you some things you might not have grasped: Troubled boys grow up to be troubled men. Warts and all, in fits and starts, finally the Hardest Working Man in Show Business gets his story told. This project had been in development for years. It took on new momentum when Brown’s family ...

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Keep Lipke Park public

The battle over the future of Lipke Park in northeast Detroit says a lot about politics in the city, the sorry state of representative government, the lack of democracy. It also explains in large part the “apathy” of Detroiters over the approaching primary election while exposing the pitfalls of privatization. Children are what make the Lipke area unique. The largest concentration of children under 18 in al ...

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Public art in the spotlight for Detroit Love 313 celebration

Featured installations visited included “Butterfly Park” at the Brightmoor Community Center; “Talking Fence and Illuminated Garage” by Design 99 and Wiley McDowell on Lamphere Street in Brightmoor; “Growing Together,” a marble statue by Larry Halbert and Shamlord Kaza-Yao in Rouge Park; and the “Food Justice Amphitheatre” by Nivek Monet and Lindsey Jewell in Rouge Park. The Brightmoor Farmway on Grayfield S ...

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Water warriors say Orr’s hand off to Duggan is a victory

Gov. Rick Snyder’s appointed emergency manager for the city of Detroit, Kevyn Orr, granted Mayor Mike Duggan the authority to manage the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, July 29 after international outrage over DWSD’s mass water shutoff program. Maureen Taylor, head of Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, called Orr’s decision a “pretty good victory.” With all the international attention to this cont ...

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BACKPACK MUSIC FEST TO COLLECT SCHOOL SUPPLIES

The 9th Annual Backpack Music Festival will be held at Belle Isle, Aug. 2, for a day of music, art, education and summertime family fun. The event is a fundraiser for the non-profit Serendipity, Collage and Potpourri (SCP), an organization that works with public and charter schools, churches and community organizations to help provide basic school supplies to children in need, and will feature a notable lin ...

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Building an institution out of an old house on Ferry Park

Passing cars on slow down to wave at Yusef Shakur who is sitting on the steps of 2431 Ferry Park eating his lunch. A young man passes. He, too, connects with Shakur. “I ain’t too good,” the young man says. “Come back and talk to me,” Shakur responds. The young man nods. The west side neighborhood where Shakur lives and grew up in is known to many as Zone 8. The area struggles with the structural poverty and ...

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J Dilla’s legacy preserved in the Smithsonian

James “J Dilla” Yancey, the late Detroit music producer whose stardom has grown globally since his passing in 2006, is headed toward enshrinement in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. Dilla’s mother Maureen “Ma Dukes” Yancey, announced the news at the ninth annual “D.C. Loves Dilla” event on July 17. The legendary hip hop musician will be represented in the museum by his MPC beat machine and his cus ...

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Poetic Menace continues to revive hip hop culture

Poetic Menace struggled as a Detroit recording artist for over 20 years. The independent MC has gone from the highs of being on stage in front of a packed room and holding his own vinyl record in his hands, to the lows of self-doubt and a music industry rigged against him. But his self-proclaimed marriage to hip hop would not allow him to break free without trying harder to grow with the culture. Today, Poe ...

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Tarot and Tea divines brighter present for Detroiters

Nefertiti comes from a long line of spiritually precocious people. Her grandfather was a spiritualist. His son, a jazz musician, also had the gift. “He used to touch people’s hands and tell them about themselves,” Nefertiti says of her father. “(But) he was frustrated because he had to work a factory job. No one would take him seriously about his spiritual gift. It got to a point where adults would ask him ...

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