Category Archives: Detroit

Convergence Journalism

If you would like to read more of my articles that I publish for class, please click on the links provided below. Leave comments and share!

Lab 1 (First Idea):  “Dealing with Racial Stereotypes”

Lab 2 : Many Places, Many Places! Where are OU Students From? 

Lab 3: ”Prison Activism in the 21st Century”

Caption Practice: “Organic Farm Stand at OU” 

Lab 4: “Feature on Juliet Oppenheim”

Lab 5: Audio- “What’s happening to note taking in the 21st Century?”

Lab: Simple Digital Story

Lab Reflection on Podcast: (New) Podcast Review 

Lab 7: “Food Deserts and How to Make a Difference”

Final: Beat Assignment

Thank you,

ElevateDailyy.

A Black Yoga Teacher In A Time Like This…

elevationHere I am about two hours away from teaching and I feel uneasy.

I am in deep thought  about what I’m going to say to a class that is 90% white people.

Will everyone look at me and know the pain I’m actually feeling along with so many others?

What is a class suppose to feel like after these fucked up situations happen? How am I going to teach about love and kindness when it feels like a lump in my throat is rising each moment I breathe.

I’ve thought of themes, I’ve thought of making a all black playlist, I’ve thought about getting it covered…shit I even thought about asking people to form a circle of love.

I sat here…wondering….shifting in thought…..

I found one answer…

I’m going to do nothing but be my simple and free self in this hour of peaceful time.

I am going to allow myself to be open and protected. I do know that when we can practice a moment of peace…take it.

What’s the heart chakra got to do with it?

Lately….

I’ve had to open my heart up more than ever before, some things that I thought I wouldn’t except I now do…no not the bad stuff I still have morals!

I am talking about softening my heart for the people I love in order to be there for them more. I had to realize that no one is perfect and if that’s the goal they are reaching for it will indeed take them a lifetime and some.

chakra4Softening the heart in order to be there for someone creates more beautiful karma, it does not make you weak it makes you stronger and wiser.

To be there for your true love ones you must open the fourth chakra which is the heart chakra! Closing off the energy that pumps to that special place causes stress, anxiety and so many other things that I will discuss down the line.

First off the heart chakra is located in the middle of your beautifully designed body, balancing the world of matter (lower three chakras) with the world of spirit (upper three chakras.) It’s location is at the center of the chest and includes the heart, cardiac plexus, thymus gland, lungs, and breasts, the heart chakra also rules the lymphatic system. Yes! this chakra is very vital to your sustainability.

It sits perfectly in this location for a reason just like the other six chakras that align the body in a perfect formation.

Like I stated above when your heart chakra is blocked you will know, you will begin to feel things 10x more intensely. When you are open, you are lubricating the heart with love which will allow the energy to flow freely towards this chakra. When you don’t you will feel jealously, anger, sadness, sort tempers and depression and overall you feel disappointed in yourself.

The beautiful thing about facing your heart chakra when it is closed is that you are able to overcome the grief that you are feeling by allowing yourself to open up. Of course at a time where you feel hopeless you aren’t really trying to hear about anything other than the sadness that is speaking volumes towards your spirit but you must force yourself out of the lower world and level up.

In order to come out of those grieving stages you can meditate, chant, do yoga and or go for a walk in nature (well those are the things I do when I notice I am blocking my heart chakra.) Most of the time I just need a minute to digest the feeling and proceed to the level up.

Do not repress your feelings! Let them flow outward so they can leave your spirit so you can began to work on what is needed to feel balanced again.

Yoga poses that help open up the area of the chest will also help to balance the heart chakra, poses such as crescent with the heart lifting towards the sky, cat and cow, gentle back bends, cobra, camel pose and wheel pose are just a few of many that will aid in the balance.

Also imagine your chakras like instruments and began to use mantras as a way to open up and release stagnant energy.

YAM(pronounced “yum”:  ”The cleansing mantra for your Heart Chakra. You give and receive love through the energy center that is your heart chakra. If you’re not feeling loving, lovable, compassionate or experience relationship difficulties, you could use some YAM! Chant “YAM” to heal both the physical heart and the spiritual (emotional) heart center and open yourself up to unconditional love and compassion.” Credit: (http://blog.mindvalleyacademy.com/alternative-healing/using-chakra-mantras-unblock-energy)

The color that the heart chakra is associated with is green which is the color of nature. Green symbolizes harmony, creativity, health and wealth.  The gemstones associated with the heart chakra are emerald, malachite,  green tourmaline, moss agate, jade, and rose quartz. Use these gemstones as something tangible to work with. Use the greens to help balance the vibrations of the nervous system and this will help you gain more energy.

I hope this helps along your journey of openness, I wish you open and balanced chakras.

Peace.

 

New Detroit, same ass shit.

 

flat,1000x1000,075,f

So while some of us are celebrating Detroit’s come up, many locals are steadily being treated like the dirt underneath Dan Gilbert’s fancy boots.

Twenty four years of living in the city and I have yet to see much effort around the build up of the people who are actually suffering due to the lack of resources.

The sudden change has me feeling less and less hopeful for my future here. If anything the new changes are turning me all the way off, the new hipsters make me vomit and the New York style traffic is starting to make me want to scream. Sadly, it’s making me plan to relocate to a place that accepts my kind of people (middle class/skating on thin ice towards the poverty line) with equal opportunities.

I cringe at the way the people from out of town are slowly creeping in acting like they have been here for years through all the bullshit.

If you weren’t here when Detroit had to file for bankruptcy you ain’t trill, if you weren’t here when we were named the most violent big city in the nation you ain’t trill, if you weren’t around when we had to have an emergency manager come in and reck DPS even more than it was already you ain’t trill, when Kwame had that party at the mansion – you ain’t trill, if you weren’t around when most of us became numb to the fact that our communities have been forgotten about and looked at as warzones….you ain’t trill! Now, there are a lot of reasons that Detroit has seen worse days – those are just a few.

If you weren’t here during the difficult times how can you be a real part of the shiney come up? Your money is the only thing that suggest that you are apart of the change happening. Money may be everything to you but to some of us…money has been one of those hard things to come by. Detroit residents has struggled to get money every since the crash of the auto industry and the riots that came from the devastation of thousands of jobs lost.

I have heard every story in the book though, front to back-side to side about how “New Detroit” is good for the locals. “It brings so many opportunities to the creative and music scene,” “Why wouldn’t you want to be apart of the development?” Well the reason is because the development of Detroit does not seem include me or many of the other amazing locals.

I still struggle to live and rent a home in some of the same areas where they are moving New Yorkers and other rich kids into for exclusive rates that seem to go over my budget seeing that this black entrepreneur has yet to see a financial break.

We have artist from different calibers who have been working for years on top of years to finally get their shine and recognition they deserve to only be left in the shadow.  We have over 100,000 residents according to the Huffington Post being displaced from their homes in 2015, unexpectedly due to tax foreclosures. Since early 2005, MLive has reported 1-3 homes in Detroit have been foreclosed due to back taxes and mortgage defaults, that leaves 139,699 homes foreclosed and 384,672 unaccounted for. The bigger catch is…families occupy a lot of the homes up on the chopping block (the numbers have slightly risen or fallen but the point remains the same.)

Unfortunately, the same people that were threatened with eviction were some of the same people that faced water shut-offs when the city of Detroit felt they could put water/money over people’s human right.

With a population of over 80% of blacks in Detroit we have yet to see the areas where we are supported. Black owned businesses are struggling to keep their doors open while we are seeing people move in next door with lower rent prices and better opportunities.

Where is the change directed I ask, I hate to make this a race issues, but it’s obvious that minorities have to bite the bullet AGAIN! It’s not just black people, note that – it’s all people that don’t fit the new style of gentrified.

In the same Midtown, which is really Cass Corridor you see development happening at a rapid pace while right down the street at the NSO (Neighborhood Service Organization) you can clearly see the displacement of the people forced in one area. The NSO has been around for over 60 years helping provide care for the mentally ill, homeless and forgotten about. We can see where the line is drawn, it may be invisible to you but it’s there. Our population of homelessness in the city of Detroit according to the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness is well over 90,000 individuals. We have plenty of room for them in the city with the unoccupied space, it’s just the unoccupied space isn’t up for grabs for such people.

I could keep going on about the changes occurring but to waste my time is not something I like to do.

I just want the locals to know that until we buy land, build our own homes, learn to grow food and heal our community we will continue to be looked at as foreigners on our own soil. If we can’t depend on the support of the new development then at least we can start to occupy areas of the city that aren’t apart of the shiney come up in their eyes. We have amazing space and opportunity on the East and West side of Detroit, if they want us out of “Midtown,” we walk with pride to the next abandoned block and take over…completely. No, it’s not giving up it’s becoming smarter and more logical. Who has time to argue with millionaires? They don’t understand our struggle.

Once we take our dollar out of “Midtown” we began to see what big part of the land can be invested in. First step is, search your heart out for the space that needs energy, combine your energy and resources with spaces that need support – no money like me? Invest in more small business when you can, volunteer to support those affected by change. It all counts, a little and a lot!

New Detroit, we the locals are fighters; can’t you tell? We been living in a zone where ya’ll declared a state of emergency, we don’t die easy we get stronger from struggle so if you think this shit gone fly…

Think again!

Sincerely,

A local of Detroit, with pride!

To all the folks that don’t read my blog…

supportyourlocaldeepthinker

 

Welcome…

I just have something to share with you…

I spend hours writing….always with no regret in my heart.

I’ve written my whole life, my soul is tangled in this shit.

I can’t beg you to share my post, like or comment but it is weird to go through your Facebook and watch you share a million articles a day about the same shit.

It becomes discouraging to watch this.

I asked myself what the point of writing if you wouldn’t read it…

I came to a conclusion though, one that was profound!

To the ones that don’t read my blog….

I am okay with it.

Why?

Because I know that what I do is important work, and you may just not realize it yet but when you do I will still be here putting out good shit.

You are sucked into a world of internet illusion….that one day you will realize it isn’t so bad to support your actual local deep thinker.

Yeah it looks cool to have blogs like “YogaAnonymous,” on your timeline but don’t forget that they have millions of readers a day…

Think about people that really need support…and start supporting them.

And to all my local dreamers….keep dreaming it’s coming!

With love,

Imani

7 COOL PLACES in the D.

7.You know sometimes you have to get your ass off the coach and force yourself to study, plan, execute or simply browse the net for unnecessary reasons.

If you’re like me you want to sit somewhere where it’s either nice and quiet or full of live music, in an open airy space that serves beer – like any of us will be more motivated with a damn beer in our hands.

But hey you never know, maybe that beer will inspire your next million dollar plan.

Anyway if you’re a Native of Detroit you may know some of these places already and if you don’t I hope you find yourself stumbling in for a cup of tea and good vibes.

1. Detroit Vintage Coffee Shop

Detroit Vintage Coffee is a cool little coffee/tea shop that has been open since 2013, sitting right off W. 8 mile rd. This shop is known for the calm, electric vibe that it brings to the usual chaotic 8 mile.

Detroit Vintage Coffee Shop specializes in their Michigan roasted coffee beans that are freshly grounded in house daily. Coffee is more than just a drink that people spend $4 a cup on, Detroit Vintage Coffee makes sure that your experience is enjoyable each and every time you step foot in their shop. At Detroit Vintage Coffee Shop, coffee is more than a business, it’s their passion.

**Poetry Night & Clean Open Mic on the first Friday of each month. 6 p.m – 9:30 p.m.**

Open WEEKENDS only! 

Saturday-Sunday 10am-6pm

10335 W. 8 Mile Rd.

Phone: 313-341-4810 

 2. The Bottom Line Coffee House

The Bottom Line Coffee House is fresh and new! The black owned family business just opened up last summer, and is already a go to place in the city! You will find a small collection of different types of coffees that are simply…damn good. Nothing fancy! Just damn good coffee!

Located in the neighborhood, the neighborhood that was once known as Cass Corridor, where there use to be fiends hanging on the steps before gentrification.

The Bottom Line is you should check out this clean, sleek environment and grab one of their tasty pastries on your way out.

4474 3rd St, Detroit, Michigan 48201

Mon-Sat:10:00 am-12:00 am Sun:12:00 pm-9:00 pm

Phone: 313-502-5479

3. Always Brewing Detroit

Always Brewing Detroit is one of those places that is on the outer edges of all the “happening” in Detroit but it still finds a special place in your heart rather you live close or thirty minutes away. Always Brewing Detroit host some of the best poetry and comedy nights in the city every Thursday.

They serve locally roasted coffee from Chazzano Coffee Roasters and tasty Eli Tea that you can’t deny to be anything other than wonderful. Always Brewing also has some great ass pasta salad too along with pastries and handmade soups also made locally.

19180 Grand River Ave, Detroit, Michigan 48223

Phone: 313-879-1102

4. DIA Kresge Court

I have to admit I was just introduced to Kresge Court in the DIA a few days ago, well I knew about it but never made my way in and when I did I fell in love! This place is perfect for your chill, inspired get shit done type of mood. Kresge Court offers a nice sleek menu with different sandwiches, soups and appetizers. They also have a nice beer and wine selection for those people like me that just want to drink a glass of wine…just because it’s Tuesday and the sun is shining.  The space is open and vibrant with plenty of conversation to get into so make your way down if you haven’t already and be sure to grab those Motown Pretzels!

5200 Woodward Avenue Detroit, Michigan 48202

Phone:  313.833.7900

5. Trinosophes

Trinosophes (“tree-no-sofe”) is one of those places that you want to visit weekly. Everything from the art on the walls to the soft music playing in the background. Trinosophes is quickly making a name for itself as the one of the hippest scenes in Detroit for underground art and performances.  Hosting some great live performances to go with your delicious pour over coffee, if your one of those hipster people then this is the place for you to go. Pull out your fancy MacBook and get to grinding.

1464 Gratiot Ave, 48207

Phone: 313.737.6606

6. Cafe Con Leche

Cafe Con Leche is serving up all your favorite Mexican treats including Mexican hot chocolate and Las Chulas Champurado which is just full of greatness. In the heart of Southwest Detroit, Cafe Con Leche brings together the community for a nice cup of love and friendship and has been doing this very deed since 2007.  So your next time in Southwest be sure to check out the owners and ask about their famous logo the “Coffee Calavera.”

Southwest location: 4200 W. Vernor Highway Detroit, MI 48209

New Center location: 2990 W. Grand Blvd. Detroit, MI 48202 

Phone: 313. 554-1744

7. Sweet Potato Sensations

I mean if you haven’t been to Sweet Potato Sensations at least once in your life then what the hell are you waiting on? At Sweet Potato Sensations every day you can get a fantastic, mouth watering have you flat on your ass begging for more sweet potato pie. This family owned business has been in the neighborhood since 1988 and has held their title of the “Sweet Potato Lover’s Heaven on Earth” since then.

17337 Lahser Road Detroit, MI 48219 

Phone: 313.532-7996