Category

Documentary

Soul of Detroit

By Documentary

Soul of Detroit

More than just the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin embodied female empowerment, was a civil rights activist, a god-fearing woman and to many, Auntie ReRe.

She was — and always will be — the Soul of Detroit.

People from all over the world came to Detroit to celebrate Aretha Franklin’s life after her passing on August 16, 2018. For two weeks, the doors at New Bethel Baptist Church, her father’s church, would be blocked by signs, flowers and other mementos left by fans and loved ones.

For three days visitors to the Charles H. Wright Museum and New Bethel Baptist Church were allowed to pay final respects to the Queen of Soul, where she lay in her spectacular gold casket, dressed to the nines with more outfit changes than an award show host. The lines around each building wrapped for blocks, but people waiting in line were full of life and song as they waited their turn to walk past Ms. Franklin.

After her funeral, the procession of pink Cadillacs led the 1940 LaSalle hearse, which also transported her father, Rev. C.L. Franklin, Rosa Parks and several other notable Detroiters to their final resting places. Aretha Franklin is entombed at Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit, alongside her father and sisters,Carolyn Franklin and Erma Franklin.

Motor City Soul Club

By Documentary

Motor City Soul Club

The Motor City Soul Club was founded in April 2014 by Dan Austin and Brad Hales of Detroit’s People’s Records. Erica Aytes joined in 2016 to form the MCSC’s core Big Three. Their mission is to spread the amazing forgotten soul sounds of the 1960s and ’70s and honor the singers, musicians, producers and record labels who created them.

Motor City Soul Club

Every second Saturday, the music of The Supremes, Edwin Starr, The Marvelettes, Chris Clark and more soul legends, echo in the shadow of the original Motown headquarters.

Over the last few years, I have become an avid fan of what Motor City Soul Club and it’s monthly event series, Soul Stomp, bring to the city of Detroit. Far beyond the music, MCSC’s Soul Stomp brings together an eclectic group of individuals looking for a place to dance and listen to music that otherwise would have been forgotten if not for the selectors worldwide who spend their time digging in dusty crates and hunting down treasures.

Despite being the birthplace of Motown, Detroit’s dance and club culture focuses on House, Techno and Pop, somehow forgetting its roots. Many of the original artists have passed and to keep their memories alive, Motor City Soul Club honors them by playing their records. These are just a few photos of the once-a-month party at Detroit’s Marble Bar, where the MCSC selectors are joined by guests from all over the world, to play these incredible sounds for Detroiters.

Vote Bus

By Documentary

Vote Bus

Voter turnout in Detroit hasn’t been great. For what is maybe the most important part of our democracy there sure are a lot of issues in the way of getting to the polls.

From not having time off work, insufficient childcare options, lack of access to voter information resources or not having transportation to the polls there are too many barriers for folks in Detroit, Highland Park and Hamtramck when it comes to being represented. No vote means no voice, which is bad.

Andy Didorsi’s Detroit Bus Company is working to solve the transportation issue for those who want to vote. On election day in 2018, they ran routes using their entire bus fleet and volunteers with their own cars to get Detroiters to their local polling place. It’s pretty ambitious, but big problems usually need big answers.

DBC and the volunteers served all of Detroit, Highland Park and Hamtramck in an effort to make sure that all Detroiters were being properly represented.

Detroit Bus Company

Detroit Dogs

By Documentary

Detroit Dogs

In a city that has been plagued with blight, corruption, bankruptcy and gentrification, Detroit’s city services often fall between the cracks, leaving residents to take matters into their own hands.

Detroit’s Animal Control services is understaffed, underpaid and lacks the resources it truly needs to handle the 139 square miles and the amount of animals within its limits. When Detroit’s city services fail the residents, they turn to other means of protection. For many Detroit citizens, dogs are more than a pet — they are property, protection and they are income. But what happens when people are unable to care for these dogs?

Each year, Detroit’s Animal Care and Control picks up thousands of stray dogs from the streets and deals with countless dogs being surrendered to their care each day. Many more dogs are killed or left for dead in alleys, basements and abandoned homes, traces of dog fighting or unwanted animals left to rot like pieces of trash.

These are just a few photos from my journey working with Detroit Dog Rescue, a nonprofit that is not funded by the city, but chooses to operate and help the City of Detroit and its citizens on a daily basis.

Warning: Some of the following photos contain graphic content.

Soul of Detroit

By Documentary, Photography
SOUL OF DETROIT

More than just the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin embodied female empowerment, was a civil rights activist, a god-fearing woman and to many, Auntie ReRe.

She was — and always will be — the Soul of Detroit.

People from all over the world came to Detroit to celebrate Aretha Franklin’s life after her passing on August 16, 2018. For two weeks, the doors at New Bethel Baptist Church, her father’s church, would be blocked by signs, flowers and other mementos left by fans and loved ones.

For three days visitors to the Charles H. Wright Museum and New Bethel Baptist Church were allowed to pay final respects to the Queen of Soul, where she lay in her spectacular gold casket, dressed to the nines with more outfit changes than an award show host. The lines around each building wrapped for blocks, but people waiting in line were full of life and song as they waited their turn to walk past Ms. Franklin.

After her funeral, the procession of pink Cadillacs led the 1940 LaSalle hearse, which also transported her father, Rev. C.L. Franklin, Rosa Parks and several other notable Detroiters to their final resting places. Aretha Franklin is entombed at Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit, alongside her father and sisters,Carolyn Franklin and Erma Franklin.

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