Trust, Distrust, and Social Class in the Black Community (ann arbor)

January 14, 2008 § Leave a comment

Jobs and Housing: Trust, Distrust, and Social Class in the Black Community

Monday, January 21, 2008. 3 – 5 pm.

Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

Annenberg Auditorium, 1120 Weill Hall

Hosted as part of the University of Michigan’s 2008 Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. Symposium.

Mary Pattillo is a Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at Northwestern University. Her most recent book, Black on the Block: The Politics of Race and Class in the City (University of Chicago Press) examines the simultaneous processes of low-income housing construction and gentrification in a black Chicago neighborhood. Pattillo is a founding board member and active participant in Urban Prep Charter Academy, the first all-boys public charter high school in Chicago.

Sandra S. Smith is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. In Lone Pursuit: Distrust and Defensive Individualism Among the Black Poor (Russell Sage Foundation Publications) Smith advances current and enduring debates about black joblessness, highlighting the role of interpersonal distrust dynamics between low-income black jobholders and their jobseeking relations that make cooperation during the process of finding work a problematic affair. In future work, Smith will further interrogate the process of finding work by examining racial and ethnic differences in trust dynamics and exploring the social psychological, cultural, and structural factors that generate these differences.

Both scholars will discuss their books, followed by comments by University of Michigan professor David Harding.

Seminar is co-sponsored by the National Poverty Center.

Reception and booksigning to follow. Free and open to the public.

harriet tubman community organizing position (multi-city)

January 11, 2008 § Leave a comment

The Harriet Tubman Center for the Recruitment and Training of Organizers
is offering its second summer of entry-level positions.

Full-time, paid field training last from June 1st to August 31st.  Upon successful completion of the training, the Tubman Center works to secure  a 6-month fellowship that will lead to a permanent position as an organizer. 

Kalamazoo, Michigan     Battle Creek, Michigan       Detroit, Michigan    Saginaw, Michigan
Upstate New York: Buffalo, Syracuse, Albany, Niagara Falls     

Washington , DC ]

Find out more!
Information Session on Wednesday 16th from 5-6pm, in 1427 Mason Hall.  

on Thursday January 17th all day (8:30am – 4:30).  Sign up online at the Career Center Website, or at the information session.

Please send resume and cover letters to Application attached. 

Harriet Tubman Center interns work in pairs to complete a total of four public actions in the course of three months.  After a week of intensive classroom training, interns will build relationships with community members, find and develop leaders, and bring the community into the democratic process to make decisions regarding their community.

Qualities. He/she must demonstrate the ability to-
1.    Build relationships in the public arena systematically and strategically.
2.    Discover and articulate self-interest in potential leaders.
3.    Cut issues, strategize and move groups of people into action.
4.    Work with community leaders, including pastors, lay persons, government officials, and others to create plans.
5.    Identify potential leaders, proposition and move them toward training.
6.    Reflect on the process of organizing.
7.    Develop and agitate within the context of a staff team.
8.    Take training from mentors and supervisors.

Julie Mehretu at DIA (november)

September 6, 2007 § Leave a comment

(from DIA’s website) Ethiopia-born, Michigan-raised artist Julie Mehretu has received international critical acclaim for her complex compositions that layer varied graphic elements recalling architectural renderings, calligraphy, and graffiti. Classically trained and well versed in the history of art, Mehretu brings technical and intellectual insight to her work. At the same time, her art shows the spontaneity, gesture and energy inherent in her creative process. The City Sitings exhibition and catalog will highlight three important elements of Mehretu’s work—Citizenship & Belonging, Mobility, and Mapping—to look at the interplay among ideas, visual arts, and people’s lived experiences. A central component of the exhibition will be a site-specific installation in galleries next to Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industry frescoes. Mehretu’s large-scale mural will pose a counterpoint to those by Rivera, and will likewise draw a connection to the local Detroit community. Watch this video about her work and the upcoming exhibit at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

IFC Free Film Fest

July 24, 2007 § Leave a comment

IFC is hosting a free film festival in several cities throughout the country. Check out their website for local information. As for my two cities: the Miami film fest starts on Tuesday (info below), and the Detroit film fest starts August 28. Other cities include: Memphis, Denver, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington D.C.  Film Fests have already passed in Phili and Atlanta.

Keep reading for Miami info . . .

« Read the rest of this entry »

40 years since the ’67 riots/uprising/rebellion in Detroit

July 23, 2007 § Leave a comment

(Detroit News Archives)

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the riots/uprising/rebellion which broke out in Detroit on July 23, 1967. You can see it in action on this news reel footage from 1967. Notice President Johnson’s remarks about “disobedience and violence” and how similar many of his statements are to racist statements made today.

The riots were the result years of frustrations and anger of African Americans in Detroit, spurred by unjust treatment, racism, violence, and poverty. The civil rights movement, once equated with the non-violent approach of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., had reached it’s boiling point in Detroit and elsewhere in the late 1960’s.

From the information I have read, it seems that the riots started in the early morning hours on July 23, after a police raid on a bar in Northwest Detroit. Following the raid, five days of rioting, or uprising, or rebellion (each of these terms having different connotations), ensued, leaving 43 dead and thousands injured and arrested.

The American Experience website explains that an “economic boom ha[d] created jobs, and urban renewal projects [had] built new infrastructure, but blacks [were] been left behind. New expressways destroy[ed] black neighborhoods, and economic opportunities [were] scarce for black residents. The 95% white police force, notorious for brutal and arbitrary treatment of black citizens, raid[ed] an illegal after hours club and [drew] an angry, frustrated crowd that quickly turn[ed] hostile.”

To deal with the “unruly crowd,” Governor George Romney called in the Michigan National Guard. These unprepared troops make mistakes like shooting out the street lights, only creating more havoc in the streets. By the end of two days, nearly 4000 were already arrested, and over 7000 by the third. Most of those arrested were young and black. To add insult to injury, the police and guardsmen shoot without abandon, insisting that everyone they were shooting at were armed.

More sources of information:

The Detroit News

tea mowens blog


American Experience on PBS

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