Bravo Krista! Time Inc. was here for a year -- and this is the story they missed: Detroit becoming....
Full disclosure: I've known Grace since 1993. In fact, I met my wife, Julia, through Detroit Summer, Grace & Jimmy's (r)evolutionary idea to utilize the spirit of young people to revitalize, re-imagine, and re-spirit Detroit. Julia was actually Detroit Summer's first volunteer and is now deep in the process of creating a place-based school in Detroit, the Boggs Educational Center, that will draw on many of the people and principles that came out in today's show.
Ending with Invincible's hip-hop song was also right on.
Let me end with a poem, "Detroit Jesus," I wrote for Grace last summer:
Detroit Jesus (for Grace Lee Boggs on her 96th birthday)
Time, Inc., buys a house in Detroitand tries to track him for a year.But he’s invisible to those looking for ablue-eyed dude in a white robeor for a city gone completely to hell.
He is the cinnamon of my son’s skinwith a green thumb and a Tigers capand my daughter’s dove-grey eyes.He prays into Blair’s guitar,hangs out on Field St.,bakes bread at Avalonand plants tomatoes on the East side.He rides his old-school bike down the heartof Grand River,paints a mural in the Corridor,shoots hoop in the Valleywith priests and pimps and lean young mentrying to jump their way to heaven.
At night,while the Border Patrol counts cars,he walks across the waterto Windsor,grabs a bite to eat,walks back.
Like Grace,born in Providence,he lives so simply,he could live anywhere:Dublin, Palestine, Malibu.But Detroit is his home.It was here one Sundaya boy invited him downoff the crossand into his housefor a glass of Faygo red pop.
That was centuries ago, it seems,and how far he’s come,reinventing himself more times than Malcolm.He’s been to prison,been to college,has a tattoo of Mary Magdalene on one arm,Judas on the other,and knows every Stevie Wonder song by heart.
He’s Jimmy, he’s Invincible, he’s Eminem.He’s the girls at Catherine Fergusenand their babies,and he’s the deepest part of Kwamestill innocent as a baby.
The incinerator is hell,but he walks right in,burns it up with love,comes out the other side,walks on.
He can say “Amen” in twelve religions,believes school is any place where head and heart and handsmeet,and wears a gold timepiece around his neckwith no numbers, just a question:What time is it on the clock of the world?
And every second of every dayhe answers that questionwith a smile wide as the Ambassadorand a heart as big as Belle Isle,hugging this city in his armsand whispering to each soulwords no one else dares to say:You are Jesus,this is your Beloved Community,and the timeon the clock of the worldis Now.
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