Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Ann Arbor and Detroit

Dan Green, Detroit native and senior at U of M, has a very interesting column in the Michigan Daily that you should absolutely, absolutely read. He drops his bomb in the second paragraph:
I feel less safe in Ann Arbor than I do in Detroit.
It's not that I feel more physically threatened. There are some students who are even so nice as to walk on the opposite side of the street when they see me walking their way. I feel a more pernicious, more dangerous threat than that. I constantly feel that my identity as well as my city are in need of protection. 
I have often wondered about the disconnect that seems to exist between the University/Ann Arbor (a top-ranked public university in a thriving city) and Detroit (though struggling, still the largest city in the state and its cultural center, about 40 minutes to the east). Mr. Green explores the vast space between them through the lens of race; the space exists in almost anything you can measure, and I think both cities and the university would benefit from a more cooperative relationship. (I remember once seeing a poster advertising a semester "abroad" in Detroit. That is not what "abroad" means. Those cars weren't actually imported.) Mr. Green hits it right on the head:
It’s embarrassing that the University doesn't have a bigger presence in the city of Detroit.


  1. I spend a fair amount of time in Detroit in the execution of my blog, while I keep on my toes, I don't exactly feel unsafe in Detroit. IT is kind of a shame that U of M doesn't have more of a presence in Detroit other than a sign stating where it was originally located.

  2. UM is actually doing quite a lot in Detroit. We're just not doing a great job letting everyone know. My favorite example: