Annie Handy is a good friend of my (Khary Frazier) Aunt Joyce Allen and when we met I was surprised to find a woman that’s 97 years old so social-able. It is humbling to know how much driving, talking, and community work Miss Annie still does today. Her interest in American history and Detroit history is humbling to witness and know she has first-hand accounts for most 20th century Detroit history. This interview begins with her sharing of how her mother was murder when she was a child. Her mother’s murder is a Detroit unsolved mystery that involves the infamous ‘Purple Gang’ and Miss Annie’s Uncle. The interview also explores her career as a nurse, social worker, and education from Hamtramck HS/ Wayne State University. Her career path had her working with Attorneys Ken Cockrel Sr. & Otis Culpepper. She also shares about dealing with a husband struggling with PTSD from WWII while raising her sons. Miss Annie’s life is fascinating and her sharing the stories on Detroit is Different wowed me!
Before venturing out into entrepreneurship fulltime Ashley Nicole had a growing base of Instagram support. ‘Watch Me Melt,’ is a journey where Ashley Nicole challenged herself to lose weight through the encouragement of her Instagram followers. Ashley’s idea has become a global program that has become a business of events, clothing, and more. In her, Detroit is Different feature Ashley shares her journey from salesperson and Wayne State University graduate to a fitness business person. Her work now is reaching globally and connecting so many people with others who optimistically are changing health lifestyles. Ashley also opens up about her journey at Cass Tech and love for performance with me (Khary Frazier & band General Population 2007 – 2016).
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.
Nina Payne is helping ‘We Found Hip-hop’ grow. The institution developed to provide women safe, productive, and sustaining platforms to express Hip-hop. Nina’s experience in the world of music runs deep. Promoting parties, concerts, and managing tours are all tasks she took on in college. In her, Detroit is Different feature Nina opens up about her perspective of accompanying the vision of an artist as a business partner and more. Nina also shares some of her memories from the road touring with artists. This was an interview filled with how her talents and skills opened doors for her. Today Nina’s applying her wisdom with ‘We Found Hip-hop’ joining efforts with Piper Carter of the Detroit is Different Podcast Network.
Flint MI is a kindred spirit with Detroit. Black pride, community love, and survival beyond industrial America are narratives that bind us together beyond the short distance in travel. Quarles’ upbringing in Flint shaped an understanding for Detroit making him a top appointee to former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick in the Michigan Legislature and the City of Detroit. In this interview, we discuss his understanding of business, politics, race, opportunity, and growth. The importance of his historically black college experience and encouragement from FAMU classmates like Chris Shorter has helped ground through today. Listen and learn about how his styles and approach to work and opportunity have blossomed to success in this interview. Quarles speaks on Claud Anderson’s Black Labor White Wealth, opportunity cost, the propensity of Black spending, and other economic analysts of Urban America. This was an introduction into American Business from a Black perspective all entrepreneurs should listen to.
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.
Yusef Bunchy Shakur is a revolutionary. His Autobiography ‘Window to my Soul,’ is an emotional read about his transformation from founding the gang Zone 8 to becoming a Black revolutionary organizer in his community. Today he is encouraged by his Father’s impact to become smarter, stronger, and committed to Black people. Building a relationship with his Father while in prison strengthened him to develop an understating for knowledge of self. Yusef is balanced by the work of his Mother who feeds, houses, and gives money to her community filled neighbors who are friends bonding as a family. We discuss Yusef’s love for Malcolm X, the Black Panther Party, and the recent Netflix documentary series ‘Who Killed Malcolm X.’ This is an informative interview where Yusef opens up about his work and reasoning behind his dedication to it. Learn more about the Urban Network, Community Movement Builder’s, and Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion all from the perspective of Yusef Shakur.
Ismail Walton has used Hip-hop as his canvas for creativity. An original breakdancer from Southwest Detroit his talents have taken him across the nation. Today Walton uses that approach towards creativity to design fashion and invent. His Coat which is a book-bag has garnered the attention of schools, foundations, and corporations. As he prepares for the release of his fashion invention, Walton visits Detroit is Different to talk Detroit hip-hop dance. If you’re interested in jitting (jitterbug), popping and locking, breaking, and ticking from an originator Walton gives insight. He also talks about the history of Black Southwest Detroit. His dance crew defeating Anita Baker in a talent show, his childhood friendship with Demetrius ‘Big Meech’ Flenory, and friendship with fashion icon Maurice Malone are all explored in this interview.