The Detroit Police historically have had a strained relationship with the Black community. The 1943 Riot, 1967 Rebellion, the Sojourner Truth Housing incidents, the Big Four, Malice Green, Aiyana Jones, and many more dividing acts have created a tense connection between Black and Blue in Detroit. Tawana Honeycomb Petty’s relationship witnessing this is layered with officers in her family and neighbors experiencing harassment. Tawana opens up about her journey from poetry into becoming a Social Justice warrior. In the shadows of greats like Dr. Gloria House comes the connection between literary arts and social justice. Tawana stands as one of the strongest advocates against police surveillance and what that means for human rights. In this Detroit is Different feature we explore her works and path towards freedom for all.
Attending the University of Michigan changed Rich Feldman’s life. The movements on the campus and activism outside the classroom inspired his lifetime of commitment to social justice. Anti-War, Anti-Racism, Anti-Capitalism, and Human Rights in action all have moved beyond theory, to practice, and action for Rich. For decades his understandings of strengthening people and community have been led by the works of Grace Lee Boggs and Jimmy Boggs. Rich Feldman currently carries on the vision and mission of both in today’s landscape of automation, information technology, corporate corruption, and environmental genocide that the Boggs foreshadowed. In this interview, we explore some of his stories and how his commitment to the struggle for progress has evolved over time.