In part two of this series from Al Jazeera’s Fault Lines program May 14, 2009, Despair, revival in Detroit Part 2, they take a closer look at what local residents are doing to survive in this devastated economy.
Grace Lee Boggs discusses how Detroit–100 years ago–was a symbol of industrialization. Today, it is a symbol of devastation and deindustrialization. Many of the jobs that UAW workers have fought to maintain are now being sent to Mexico, as in the case of American Axle.
Unlike the auto executives who chose to focus on the bottom line sales of their profitable SUVs and other gas guzzling vehicles, many Detroiters saw the collapse coming.
In one segment, Bobbi Thompson, a piano teacher at Detroit’s Central United Methodist Church, discusses how she lost her four children to the foster system for 22 months because she was unable to pay her utilities bills. She also points out how the public schools failed to see changes coming in the auto industry and continued to educate her children and others for “drone work instead of brain work.”
Another segment of this video shows Capuchin Soup Kitchen‘s Earthworks Urban Farm, “the largest network of urban food production in the U.S.” It encompasses over 130 sq km (80 sq mi) of vacant lots and provides 100,000 seedings per year, such as eggplants, melons, and peppers.
The video ends with an assessment by MWRO‘s Maureen Taylor with faith that Detroit will be “hell on wheels” once it pulls out of this! Please share this series with others!