As We Know It
When the weather warms in Detroit a palpable electricity starts to materialize. I live in a downtown-adjacent apartment near the river and it seems as if that energy gets funneled south and unleashed right here. It’s truly something to behold. The synchronized rumble of chopper engines sliced by the bass from our favorite tracks. The sparkling clean cars and their drivers that treat parking rules as suggestions. The conversations exchanged across streets. It’s Black art.
And there’s an extra charge in the air this season. After being locked down for a year, it’s clear that we’re itching to get back to life. Listen, we can’t throw all caution to the warm breeze quite yet, but as we continue to vaccinate the most vulnerable among us and more opportunities for hanging outdoors arise, let’s look forward.
One thing we can do is start to pack away those sweatshirts and leggings. Wait, I mean, not all of them – let’s not get crazy here. But, as comfy as an elastic waist is, I miss real clothes! We know you must be too, and, so, we’re delivering eight pages of spring fashion, from florals to neon to denim (Page 40). You might spot a familiar face in those pages. Fun fact: One of our models is the poised Carole Gist, the first Black woman to win the title of Miss USA in 1990. She’s accompanied by the lively Bria Anderson, styled by Marv Neal and shot by Boswell Hardwick.
We also dive into the idea of inclusive fashion (Page 36). The Black Lives Matter movement ushered in an era of reckoning felt across industries, fashion especially. We’ve since seen luxury labels buddy up to independent brands, consumers are all about buying Black and the powers that be seemed to have pulled out a chair. Timeless or trendy?
On Page 30, we also consider art as an investment as last year’s uprising also reignited the conversation around building Black wealth and cultural reverence. One Birmingham collector couple along with art dealer George N’Namdi share their secrets. About art: We check in with two new exhibits. Dual Vision at MOCAD pairs local artists for a dialogue on collaboration (Page 24), and No Gyal Can Test at Red Bull Arts uses a mashup of mediums to recall the vibe of Jamaica’s dancehall scene (Page 22).
April is also Autism Awareness Month, and parents will discover potential warning signs to keep an eye out for, and helpful tips and resources for families with a diagnosis (Page 18). Oh, and speaking of classic Detroit energy, for 313 Day we swung by a handful of nostalgic spots and photographed them and the people we met along the way (Page 50). Why? Because old Detroit ain’t dead yet.
Enjoy the issue.
Paris Giles, Senior Editor