We’re back again this week with everything Detroit culture and community! On the docket: a Black-owned grocery store, where to find food around Detroit and a call for stories from Black Bottom descendants.
But before that, shoutouts! Last week’s secret spot seemed to stump most of our readers, except Elspeth Muzzin, who correctly guessed Broderick Tower in Campus Martius (so long to the whales!)
Think you can guess this week’s spot? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for bragging rights or to share your favorite underrated grocery stores (we like Papaya Fruit Market in Dearborn!), coffee shops or local restaurants.
Onto this week’s community roundup!
Raphael Wright opened Neighborhood Grocery earlier this month in Jefferson Chalmers, making it the second Black-owned grocery store in Detroit. The neighborhood has been without a grocery store for decades as grocery options have dwindled citywide.
The grocery store mixes commercial items like Faygo with more local products from shops like Konjo Me and Eastern Market. And you can bet on its success — the business offers $50 shares after raising more than $170,000 in a crowdfunding campaign.
Neighborhood Grocery joins one other Black-owned grocery store in Detroit, Linwood Fresh Market, which opened in March. The Detroit People’s Food Co-op, which aims to be Black-led and community-owned, said it will open in February in the North End. (BridgeDetroit, WDIV, Neighborhood Grocery, WXYZ, Detroit People’s Food Co-op)
In need of food?
Gleaners Community Food Bank offers emergency food distribution through its food pantries, soup kitchens and mobile distribution program… United Way for Southeastern Michigan provides food and other resources through its 211 hotline… St. Vincent de Paul Society serves hot meals through its Matchan Nutrition Center and distributes nonperishables… All Saints Soup Kitchen & Food Pantry has a food pantry on Mondays and Thursdays with perishable and nonperishable food.
Live outside of the city? Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services in Dearborn provides residents with emergency food vouchers and other community aid… Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency has a variety of food programs around Wayne County … Southfield’s emergency food assistance program allows residents to pick up two bags of non-perishable food quarterly…Yad Ezra in Berkley provides groceries to those in need.
Bringing history to light
Black Bottom Archives is collecting stories from descendants of residents of the former Black neighborhoods of Paradise Valley and Black Bottom ahead of the redesign of I-375. When it was built in the 1960s, the highway paved over bustling Black business and residential districts, displacing residents.
The state plans to dismantle I-375 and replace it with a street-level boulevard, but many feel this isn’t enough to undo the racist harm its construction caused. The width of the proposed boulevard also raises concerns about pedestrian safety.
The oral histories — which come with a $100 stipend for participants — are part of Black Bottom Archives’ Sankofa Community Research project, which includes a virtual reconstruction of what Paradise Valley and Black Bottom looked like. The organization is planning to present the reconstruction, along with the oral histories, at community meetings next year — but you can already brush up on the area’s history in the group’s digital archive. (Metro Times, Outlier, Black Bottom Archives)
Movin’ on up
The Motown Museum released updated renderings for its $65 million project to expand the museum campus. The final phase of construction is set to begin in spring, expanding the museum to a 50,000-square-foot tourist destination for Detroit.
What to expect from the expansion? “The Motown Atmosphere” exhibit will feature candid images of Motown legends out of the spotlight. In “The Backstage Lounge,” visitors will be able to search the Motown catalog for new music and interviews with the legends. The expansion will also include performance spaces including a recording studio and theater. (WDIV, Motown Museum)
Can you guess this secret spot?
Here’s another mural to test your local knowledge. Last week’s seemed to stump many of our readers, but this one should be familiar if you frequent In Harmony Café. Where is this musical mural located?
P.S. Do you have a spot you’d like to see featured in this section? Email me at email@example.com with your favorite cool spots in the city!