Detroit today kicks off a weeklong celebration of Black history and Black culture and a yearlong initiative to shine a spotlight on the city’s creative community while working to support that community as it struggles to survive the COVID-19 pandemic and recession.
Both the Black History Month kick-off and the yearlong Undefeated campaign are led by the Detroit Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship (Detroit ACE), which receives general operating support from The Kresge Foundation Detroit Program.
In the Black History Month kickoff at 7 p.m. Mayor Michael Duggan will interview Alice Randall, a former Detroiter and author of the best-selling novel Black Bottom Saints. The mayor has called for citywide reading of the novel set in 1937-1967 Detroit, a “Black Camelot” as Randall describes it through the eyes the historical figure Joseph “Ziggy” Johnson, columnist for the Michigan Chronicle, emcee of the glittering 20 Grand nightclub and dean of the Ziggy Johnson School of the Theatre.
The “Black Bottom” of the title refers to the traditional African American neighborhoods that were cleared, and their residents displaced, for the redevelopment that became Lafayette Park and Elmwood Park. (The adjacent commercial district, Paradise Valley, was also destroyed largely to make way for the Chrysler Freeway.)
The events will be presented live on Zoom, the city of Detroit’s Channel 22 and Facebook. Register at Detroitartsandculture@gmail.com
For more information and activities for the remainder of the week, visit HERE