My experience with the final project

On November 23, 1999, the best thing that has ever happened to this world occurred. My birth….

No No No. Just kidding. Yeah no.

20 years later, I was going to Detroit with a bud to take pictures of Detroit for the final project. I thought that it was a perfect gift for myself, as it allowed me to be productive and procrastinate at the same time. Anyway, I literally visited all parts of Metro Detroit. The hood, the rich parts, the downtown, as well as some abandon houses! Yeah, the last one isn’t the most exciting place to visit on your birthday, but the look at my friend’s face when he realized we were taking pictures there was priceless.

Something I verified when I went to Detroit was the distinctive difference between classes. As you got closer to downtown Detroit, you would see more whites. To me, this was odd, as I have always learned that downtown Detroit was struggling and through my research with the previous experiments, I was expecting more blacks. This is when I came to the realization that I was literally in the tourist areas of Detroit. As I walked farther from those areas, there were more blacks appearing. When I got to poorer areas, there were more blacks there as well, and when we went t the richer areas (GP), there were more whites.

To me, I was astonished by this divide. It showed me the economic differences between the two races.

When I drove from GP to downtown Detroit, that’s when I noticed my project might actually mean something.

The top picture is Grosse Pointe. It isn’t that clear, but if you look really closely, you will notice that Grosse Pointe starts right after that Stop sign. The bottom picture is Detroit. Immediately walking into the city (GP), there was the sound of Christmas music, and overall, it just seemed like a great place. Everything was kept tidy and organized, while Detroit didn’t. Another thing was that I saw more whites in Grosse Pointe, and none of them would even cross that street to see the other side! It is literally like 5 steps! It as clear this difference in economic prosperity was real, and it has lead to the divide in health.

Although it isn’t something like a guitar (I got a guitar for my birthday. Was low key kinda happy), the trip was overall humbling, as it gave me evidence of what people are actually living through. It also showed me that I can actually make a difference in this community.

One thought to “My experience with the final project”

  1. Hi Gabriel, we’ve already talked but let me just say that I love your topic so much. I’ve always had a strange relationship with Detroit. My dad grew up there for a few years but eventually moved to a nearby suburb, and now my family lives in tiny little town about an hour outside of the city. Whenever I went as a kid we would only go to the “safe places,” aka gentrified spots like the art museum and the zoo filled with other white, middle-class families. The rest of Detroit in the eyes of my small-town community was “dangerous”, “scary”, “creepy”. What a gross, cop-out way of describing a city that is the foundation of our entire region. I really need to know more about Detroit; I think all Michiganders do. For this reason I’m so excited to see your final project.

    If you’re interested, my favorite novel of all time (I think, so hard to decide) takes place in Detroit, and it’s a really fascinating look into the city’s history in the latter half of the 20th century. In particular, there’s a chapter about the 1697 riots, which I imagine you’ve studied to some extent for your project. It’s called Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides. Look it up.

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