Walk Leaders: A group of neighbours
Text by: Madhavi Reddy
Photographs by: Barbara Barefield
There we all were: some of us from the suburbs; some of us from the city; some, from different countries all over the world. We gathered in front of an independent grocery store. Then, together, we talked and walked through the tree-lined streets of a tight-knit community.
We learned about the resident-led revitalization of Palmer Park. We talked about the (in)famous people who have grown up or lived here. We learned about the long procession that led to Rosa Parks’ funeral; her final resting place is at the edge of our community. Many joined our walk to tell another side of the story of our great city. Others came to see if what they’d heard was true: Should they wear Kevlar? Was the city full of blight, crime and extreme poverty? We talked about how all of these things do exist in our great city – alongside development projects, revitalization efforts, strong resident groups who are re-imagining the landscape, and a vital arts community.
We finished our walk at a local restaurant, where we talked about what the teachings of Jane Jacobs meant for a city like ours – a city in the midst of rumours about the upcoming appointment of an emergency manager and impending bankruptcy, and in the process of rebuilding. All in the shadow of one of our city’s most infamous streets: Eight Mile Road. Much love from Detroit to the world.