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State of Black Detroit focus: Economic and political power

Grow Black businesses, control communication and education, do “Jehovah Witness style politics,” stop begging, use the resources at hand, reach out to the youth, take care of your household and love yourself — and one another. The messages of empowerment were greeted with applause and enthusiasm by Detroiters weary of state imposed emergency management and the bleak future promised by bankruptcy and asset s ...

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Melvin Davis: Music, life, politics all about participation

You might think a gentleman in his 70s, after writing over 600 songs, would have pretty much said all he had to say. But if that gentleman happens to be Detroit soul legend Melvin Davis, you couldn’t be further from the truth. The musician/singer/songwriter/dancer/entrepreneur has a lot of knowledge to share and it comes straight from his heart. “Sincerity always works,” Davis told the Michigan Citizen, “be ...

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PEOPLE’S PLAN VS. ORR’S

A coalition of 38 Detroit organizations joined by citizens, retirees and activists presented a “People’s Plan for Restructuring toward a Sustainable Detroit” at a press conference Feb. 24. The plan envisions financial security and quality community life with details on how to get there. “Detroit’s rebirth will be the result of the people’s unrelenting demand for democratic self-governance, equal access to a ...

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Orr’s plan ignores city’s strengths, sells citizens short

Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr submitted his Chapter 9 bankruptcy plan, Feb. 21, for the first time revealing his plans to pay down Detroit debt and restructure the city. The Plan of Adjustment represents Orr’s outline “toward the City’s rehabilitation and recovery from a decades long downward spiral,” according to a press statement. ...

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Spike Lee ‘goes off’ on gentrification

This week, Filmmaker Spike Lee offered a rant on gentrification, according to New York Magazine. For Detroiters, experiencing gentrification, the comments are timely. Speaking Tuesday night in his hometown of Brooklyn, blocks away from his company headquarters and his father’s apartment, Spike Lee goes off. “Here’s the thing: I grew up here in Fort Greene. I grew up here in New York. It’s changed. And why d ...

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Mayor Chokwe Lumumba joins the ancestors

“Free the Land” Detroit native son Chokwe Lumumba, mayor of Jackson, Mississippi joined the ancestors Feb. 25, 2014. He was 66. "It is with a heavy heart, that we inform you our beloved brother, civil rights activist, human rights activist and mayor, Chokwe Lumumba has passed away,” said Lumumba’s Chief of Staff, Dr. Safiya Omari in a press statement. The mayor died of heart failure, according to hospital r ...

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SMUG fights for equality in Uganda

On Monday Feb. 24, in spite of international pressure, Ugandan President Yoweni Museveni signed into law a controversial anti-gay bill drafted first in 2009. The new law makes homosexuality, already criminal in Uganda, punishable by life imprisonment. Ugandan lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and intersex advocacy group Sexual Minorities Uganda has been leading the fight against this and other homophobi ...

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EM Orr files Plan of Adjustment

Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr filed, Feb. 21, the City’s Plan of Adjustment and a related Disclosure Statement with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. The Plan and Disclosure Statement provide the details of the City’s proposal to "(i) adjust up to as much as $18 billion in secured and unsecured debt... ...

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‘Ex-treasurer Andy Dillon enriches himself off Detroit bankruptcy’

“Conflicts of interest, corruption and cronyism are all becoming business as usual at Snyder's Treasury Department, and that's why we need an immediate investigation. Dillon used his position of public trust as State Treasurer to line up his next job and feather his own nest with the very firm he was supposed to be monitoring.” ...

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EM neglect ruining Bates Academy, parents testify

Flooded hallways, falling ceiling tiles, growing mold, busted pipes, a leaky roof and 20 days of no classes — the parents at Bates Academy are angry their children’s education has been put on hold because of neglect and mismanagement under Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Jack Martin. “What do we do?” asked one of the approximately 20 Bates parents who appeared before members of Detroit’s elected sc ...

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