When I was younger, I was always told mixed stories about Detroit. It seemed that all that was associated with the city was negative except when my parents were younger. My mother lived here when she was younger, and my grandfather was a Detroit cop. When she was younger, she said that Detroit was so nice. She told me that nothing bad really happened, and she was so happy in Detroit as a child. She told me that it all went bad once the riots of ’67 came. “The origins of urban unrest in Detroit were rooted in a multitude of political, economic, and social factors including police abuse, lack of affordable housing, urban renewal projects, economic inequality, black militancy, and rapid demographic change. ” (http://www.67riots.rutgers.edu/d_index.htm). I look up to my mother so much, so therefore I just took her word for it as Detroit was now a dangerous city. Whenever we travled through here for red wings games or even just downtown to eat, displays of creativity were everywhere. It seemed that some areas were run down or filled with graffiti. I always thought that graffiti was a gang symbol, but now that I am older, I realize that it is just a sign of creativity. Humans love to personalize their things and it makes them feel like they have a say in certain choices because they made it their own (Silverman and Rader 481). I believe now that graffiti is a sign of expression that people in Detroit are often unable to express. When I was completing my applications to college (which took so long), I did not even know that the University of Detroit Mercy exsisted. I was looking at the schools that everyone looks at such as MSU, U of M, and big ten schools like that. My aunt actually went here to U of D and she was the one who told me to look at it. When I applied and go accepted and visited, I knew I wanted to go there. It had one of the top nursing schools in the state, and it was small enough for me since I came from a small school. When I started to tell people where I was going people just assumed the worst, and always told me to be careful. My mother told me where not to go and never go alone. I was so afraid for the first month of school, but now I am quite used to Detroit and the city itself. I think Detroit is so interesting. It has such old architecture, incredible stories, and fun facts about the city. I love it here and I love to go and explore the city and the outskirts of it as well, and I think the city has even made me more rounded and smart as a person.
-Caitlin Tefend 🙂