Sunday, February 22, 2015

Down, Yet Not Out

While growing up, I've always known Detroit as the home of the Pistons, Tigers, Red Wings and Lions. I grew up hearing about Motown being the birthplace of Eminem and countless other personalities that one could see in various pop culture areas. I never heard of the White Flight in the late 1960s and the 1970s, the corruption, the shift and decrease in population in any history classes or the media because it wasn't something that was considered important enough to gain national attention. That changed in 2013 when the city filed for bankruptcy. I couldn't go an hour without hearing about Detroit filing for bankruptcy. Media outlets constantly asked the question, "Where does Detroit go from here?" We constantly hear that it is always darkest just before the dawn and Detroit is proving that with the direction that they're going. They've created a bankruptcy plan that has been approved so that they will work back towards the black, rather than the red. They have hunkered down on the corruption that plagued their political system. They are using creative expression to show the world that they're still there and that Detroit will be back and better than ever. This is an ongoing process and I'm sure there will be many abandoned or decrepit buildings and houses but there will also be areas being re-built or repaired and areas showing this growth and improvement. I'm from a small town where very little excitement happens. Uxbridge is a white-collar town that is home to doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers, etc., yet it's history is steeped in blue-collar work. It once served as the midpoint between Worcester and Providence and was a hub for mills on the Blackstone and Mumford Rivers. Similar to Detroit, the town focused on manufacturing for its income. It took time to transition and the mills are now home to various independent businesses and apartment complexes. Sadly, one of the mills burned down, which caused over 100 small business owners their life work. Considering the size of Detroit and taking into account the sheer amount of income they gained through manufacturing, it will take so much time, patience and tireless work not only from the citizens of the city, but also of volunteers to help this city return to its former glory.

Dan Larrivee
Class of 2017

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